Why We Get So Much Done Around the Holidays: Because We Have To

It’s that time of year again — when time warps and we start operating at a higher level of efficiency. It’s the time when we start getting pumped about “getting it done.”

It happens every year. We get into mid- to late-October and everyone starts saying, “I can’t believe that Thanksgiving and Christmas are just weeks away.”

We act as though something is going to slow down time but it doesn’t. It never does. Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future, as the song goes.

So this time comes upon us and what do we do? We throw parties, we go shopping at the malls and online, and we cook like we haven’t cooked all year long. We tap into this wellspring of newfound energy that allows us to get more done in a shorter period of time, and we’re efficient in a way that enables us — seemingly — to accomplish more than the previous 10 months.

Whether it’s true that we get more done around the holidays is up for debate, but why does it feel like it? It’s similar to that week before vacation. For some unknown reason we are able to get more done the week prior to our departure than all the other weeks between scheduling vacation and the week leading up to vacation.

One reason is that we tap into the energy that is created from the excitement of the vacation or the good will that the holiday season inspires. The other reason? Because we have to get it done!

As it happens every year, the holidays snuck up on me again, and I began working with family and employees to map out our plans to mark the holidays and acknowledge our colleagues, clients, friends, and family. In early November, we began planning our annual Thanksgiving pie “open house” for our clients, we had to get the Christmas lights up, we had to prepare for our annual Commodari Group holiday party, and we had to plan our family parties for Thanksgiving and Christmas. So much to do and so little time to do it!

We are managing our way through it. The excitement of having the parties, getting together with neighbors, friends, and clients — and the necessity of getting it done — are a replenishing source of energy.

We recently had our annual holiday pie “open house,” in which more than 175 clients dropped by our home to pick up a delicious dessert pie before Thanksgiving. It would be impossible to visit 175 clients in one day so instead I invite clients to our house. It was a great way to catch up with a lot of people at once, as well as build community within my business and personal relationships. It also was a great kick start for the holiday season. We celebrated Thanksgiving two days later, and ate dinner with my wife’s family and later had dessert with my family.

During the early morning hours on Thanksgiving, I began to put up the Christmas lights, which I do every year, and let me tell you; there are a lot of lights. The task of putting up the lights takes about 15 hours. It’s hard, no getting around that, but I enjoy doing it every year. Once completed, it looks beautiful and it gives me more energy leading up to Christmas. Plus, it not only allows me and my family to enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas, it also lets the neighbors and their children to do the same.

Now it’s time to get the shopping completed. That means dealing with the traffic and the time. Well, guess what? I’ll get it done — because I’m excited and because I have to!

As we focus on family and gifts and parties, we don’t slow down in our business. In my mind we need to pick up the pace. What we do now and have been doing for the last six weeks will show up in results in the first quarter of 2017.

So let’s get excited about the holidays and use that energy to decorate, to cook, to celebrate, and to plan for our next year. Why? Because it’s that time of year, and because good preparation returns good results.