This week, I’m out of the office and celebrating Christmas.

If you’re also celebrating, I hope you’re able to enjoy time with those who matter most to you.

I hope you’re also able to join with “the few among the Niatirbians” in reflecting on and being grateful for the elements of truly lasting value in the season.1For the source of the video rendition below, see C. S. Lewis’s excellent essay “Xmas and Christmas” in God in the Dock, 334–37.

Even if the holiday has sneaked up on you, don’t let it pass by without pausing to look up.

Carve out some time to say “yes” to what’s most important. You won’t regret it.

You can start with the 5 small steps I mentioned a few weeks ago:

  1. Recognize there’s more to life than your current work demands or next upcoming project.
  2. Prepare early if you can or with whatever time you have available to you.
  3. Address others’ needs ahead of time so you can focus on your time away without school or work pulling at your attention.
  4. Use an auto-responder to let others know when you’ll start responding to them again after your time away.
  5. While you’re away, actually unplug.

If you got some good practice with these steps around Thanksgiving, take the opportunity to apply what you learned about how to improve at being away from work.

Besides making that time more enjoyable, it’ll also help you work better when you come back from your time away.

What have you thought of that will help you be more present in your time away than you have been in the past?

If you haven’t done so yet, please take just a couple minutes to complete this year’s reader survey and help shape the content I release next year.

Header image by by Walter Chávez

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  1. Merry Christmas Dr. Stark! Thanks for the advice and reminder of the focus of both this season and for the year ahead!
    Grace and Peace in Christ,

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