I know the holidays can be crazy hectic. Parties to attend, gifts to buy and wrap, fundraisers, meals to plan, tons of holiday traditions, service projects in the community…maybe even office festivities and customers to take care of.

No one wants to be a hot mess running around stressed out instead of enjoying the joy of the season – or worse, have people think you’re being a “Scrooge.”

Instead of letting the holiday craziness take over, check out some tips on how to stay productive this season, while also staying merry and bright.

#1: Simplify Your Holiday Tasks

I’m sure there’s a lot on your plate, but try to stick to your normal work routine as much as possible. Plan ahead. Make a list (and check it twice lol) of all the gifts and meal shopping that has to be done and try to get it done quickly. Maybe a friend or family member is making a mall run and you can ask them to pick up something tricky; everything else can be ordered online and delivered right to your door.

Hosting dinner at your house? Ask your guests to bring the side dishes. Or if you’re heading over to someone else’s house, volunteer to bring a dish you know your family loves and is easy for you.

If you are like me and absolutely LOVE Christmas time, then you probably have lots of traditions. You could choose the ones that have the most meaning to you and skip the rest. Remember, you don’t have to participate in everything.

Lastly, if you have kids, enlist them in some holiday labor. If they are old enough to help with decorating, cooking, and cleaning, make it their job. I have my kids stuff the Christmas cards into envelopes and wrap my gifts. They usually want to make a little extra shopping money this time of year. Delegate! Delegate! Delegate!

#2: ‘Tis the Season for Referrals

What better time to chat with family and old friends? If you’re mailing out holiday cards, that’s a good reason to reach out. While you make sure that you have the correct address, also spend some time catching up. Ask them how the family is and find out what they’ve been up to. The question about business is bound to come up. It’s a great time to set a time to show them more of what you do in business.

While you’re at all the holiday parties and family get-togethers, pull your aunties, uncles, cousins and friends aside and mention how passionate you have been lately about your company and that you would love to set a time to brainstorm for referrals. You could even be proactive and make a list of people you want to ask for their numbers when you see that loving relative who hasn’t given you any referrals in awhile.

#3: Get the Competitive Juices Flowing!

Of course, party when it’s time to party. Enjoy your family and soak up all the joy this season offers. But I hope that somewhere inside you, you know that this is the separation season. While most people are completely distracted and pretty much sleeping when it comes to growth, you can pass up a lot of your competition! So set clear and specific goals for December! Make the most of the time you are working. Push yourself to grow during this time. You will have a mental edge over your competitors because you know you outworked them. Just remember to take care of yourself, too. With all the unhealthy treats and the extra stress, make sure you drink plenty of water, try to eat the best you can, and get some workouts in.

I hope you have an amazing, joyful holiday season. One cool fun fact: Research has shown that decorating and giving to others can increase your happiness. It can increase the feel-good hormone called dopamine. So instead of just resting or being a Scrooge, get into the spirit and decorate your home, your office, and give to someone less fortunate.

Have the Happiest Holiday season ever this year!