Here we are at the end of the year already. Time to tie up loose ends at work, push for the end of the year sales, get ready for tax season, budget, and one more thing: Enjoy the Holidays!

It may seem impossible to relax and have our special moments, but it is not. It comes down to being able to get done what is a must and being able to say no to things that can actually wait until January. We work hard all year and it is really important to not let these memorable times pass us. It may take more work to make it happen but you can do it. Trust me I know. 

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Let me tell you a story: One Friday evening at 5 pm my family had committed to drive from San Diego to San Clemente to see my niece and her new baby. The visit was only for a few hours and then we were driving back home. She was in California visiting and Friday night was the only time we could get together. If any of you have lived or visited southern California you know how utterly terrible the traffic is at that time (probably the worst possible time of the week). San Clemente is only 50 miles away but with traffic you can add an hour and a half to the drive that you already have. It's stop-and-go-traffic the entire way.

So we got the kids in the car and from the start they were already complaining quickly. Like, the majority of kids, they can’t stand long car rides. We were all tired from the work and school week and the thought of canceling our visit was tempting.  Luckily, we all stayed strong and did the drive.

We got there and had such a nice and memorable time. Showing my niece and other family that they were important enough to us that we would go out of our way to see them and meet the newest addition to our family, and to seeing how much it ended up meaning to my kids was priceless. 

Heidi enjoying time with her family during this busy season.

While it was hard to pull off, I'm glad we did it. It was important to me as well as my entire family. 

The trip got me thinking about how hard it is to do everything, both personally and professionally, during the busy holiday season and end of year rush.

I encourage you to take a look at your end of the year to do list and prioritize your tasks so you can do what is most important to you too. Here are a few ways I prioritize work and life as the year comes to an end.

  1. Identify urgent vs important.
  2. Look at those urgent items and identify what carries the highest value to you professionally and you personally.
  3. Order tasks and events by estimated effort.
  4. Cut the tasks and events that don’t make the urgent list and that you know you can’t complete or attend. 
  5. Execute to do list.

By doing this you will have an outline of the must dos, must attends, and can waits which will hopefully make you feel a little less overwhelmed. It's all about having a good plan.

Happy Holidays!


Heidi Wilcox is a Director of Market Development for Excelerate America, the ultimate one-stop shop for entrepreneurs. How do you prioritize year end tasks and parties? Let Heidi know by emailing her at

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