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Melissa Shanahan

#181: Calendaring Your Holidays for Rest and Rejuvenation

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The Holiday season is here, which means you finally get to come up for air, take a breath, and rest. Whether you want to spend time with your loved ones, prepare gifts, get your home ready and decorated, or travel, the truth is rest and rejuvenation don’t come easy.

Melissa’s clients have been working hard up to this point, and if you often feel like you’ve run yourself ragged by the time Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around, you’re not alone. You want to start the New Year refreshed and rejuvenated, but if you don’t know how, you’re in the right place.

Join Melissa today as she offers you a new way to think about your calendar for the Holidays. Whether you want to sink your teeth into something you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t had the time, or you just want to do nothing, feel truly rested and ready to start 2023 with renewed energy, you’ll find out how to carve out the time and space to do so.

If you’re a law firm owner, Mastery Group is the way for you to work with me. This program consists of quarterly strategic planning facilitated with guidance and community every step of the way. Enrollment will be opening soon, so click here to learn more!

Show Notes:

What You’ll Discover:

• 2 things Melissa does to protect her energy and time during the Holidays.

• How to schedule your calendar ahead of time for the Holidays.

• Why you have to be bold with how you carve out time and space for rest and rejuvenation.

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Full Episode Transcript:

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I’m Melissa Shanahan and this is The Law Firm Owner Podcast, episode number 181.

Welcome to The Law Firm Owner Podcast powered by Velocity Work for owners who want to grow a firm that gives them the life they want. Get crystal clear on where you're going. Take planning seriously and honor your plan like a pro. This is the work that creates velocity.

Hi everyone, welcome to this week’s episode. I am recording this the week of Thanksgiving here in the states and it will be released the week after Thanksgiving. And I am sharing what I’m going to be sharing today because I notice as I’m talking to clients that they are working really hard right now and they’re going to slam into the holidays.

The holidays will come where all of a sudden they are allowed to just be offline, nobody has to hear from them and they can just take a breath finally. And it’s almost like they worked so hard up to that date that it doesn’t feel truly rejuvenating because the holidays, for many people, comes with some things you’ve got to do, and that you want to do.

You want to spend time with family, you want to prepare gifts, you want to travel, you want to do these things, you know, get your home ready the way that you want to for the holidays. There’s things that you want to do but sometimes you run so hard that when you have space, all you can do is just like sit down and take a breath and you don't feel like doing anything.

So then you do what you need to do and only that through the holidays. You try to take as much space as you can, and then we start the new year not really refreshed. So what I'm offering today is a way to think about your time over the holidays and think about your calendar and scheduling ahead of time for the holidays that will give you what you need during the holidays and what you want, so that when it is time to start 2023 back with your firm, you do feel a sense of completion with the holidays. You feel like you are ready to come back.

And I see it as a part of my job with all the clients I work with on how to make it so that they don't feel like a shell of themselves. I mean, all of my clients are working so hard. And all of you listeners, I know you are working very hard. And rest is not a thing that comes easy. No one's going to give it to you, you have to take it.

And that's what this podcast is about, is how to line yourself up with real rejuvenation over the holidays and not just running yourself ragged. And so that's what we're talking about today.

Okay, well, it comes down to two things that I do that protect myself that I'm going to give you guys that if you haven't done yet, find your groove with it and do it. The first is to calendar space over the breaks or over the months of the holiday months. Calendar space where there's absolutely no work. That is important.

When you don't have work, you're basically saying this is the space that no matter what, I will not be working because I'm going to do these other things that matter to me. I'm going to take space, if that means space to read or space to go hang with your family, or whatever it is, it doesn't matter.

But you decide ahead of time, this is the time for me and it's not time for work and carve it out. Now, you can take more than that when it comes down to it, but bare minimum this is what you're doing for yourself.

The second thing is to schedule things that you would like to do. Schedule time for things that you would like to do. Now, I don't mean just going places and being busy. I mean is there a tool that you've been wanting to dig into?

You know, I almost did a podcast episode recently, which I will do in the future, on Superhuman, which is an email client that I use. Oh my God, the amount of time that it saves me is remarkable and I want other people to know about it.

Now, I'm not an expert on it so I want to increase my skill level a little bit with it before I share it here on the podcast. But as an example, that is something I'm going to do over the break. I'm going to have space carved where I can just dig in deeper to Superhuman.

Now, what is it for you? Is there something you've been really curious about you want to research, you want to implement, but you don't feel like you have the space? This is the space to do it. This is the perfect space to do it, at least that's the way I look at it, where I can play. It lets me play and dig in in a much deeper way.

Now I've given you the first two rules, so to speak. One is to calendar time where you will not work. You won't be working. And the second is to calendar time for digging into things that just feel indulgent and good and fun.

And it doesn't have to be a tool or software, it doesn't have to be anything to do with work, it could be bird watching for all I care. But what is something you've been curious about, you want to sink your teeth into, but you don't really have the space? That's the stuff that you want to schedule time for.

Now, beyond those two things you, of course, will have the inevitable stuff that you just want to do every year for the holidays. And that needs to be calendared too. And when you calendar those things, then it allows you to make sure that all bases are covered. You are being taken care of in terms of rest and rejuvenation. We're just saying, “I'm not working.” You're taking a break from working.

And you will also be making sure that you have space to do things that are enjoyable, that feel rejuvenating because it's fun and indulgent maybe, and it just doesn't feel appropriate typically during your time of work. Now, that's debatable, I could argue that. But most of us feel like things get pushed to the side, this is the time to allow them to surface and to schedule time for them.

And then, of course, scheduling time for the things that matter to you. Family get togethers, when you're going to decorate together, when you're going to have family or friends over, or when you're going to a party. Those things, taking a look at those things and thinking through the prep for those. Do you need to buy gifts for those things? Do you need to prepare anything for that? And just thinking through.

This entire practice takes 15 minutes tops and it's worth it. It's so worth it. That's what I've got for you this week. And I could make it more complex and give you more nitty gritty. But truthfully, sit down, give yourself 15 minutes, look ahead at December. Block off when you are going to not work, period. Big chunks, be bold with it. Nobody freaking cares, right?

It's the holidays, take the space that you need. And if that means that something else gets delayed or pushed back a little bit on timeline, then reset expectations and take the space for yourself. This is the time of year where you get to do that.

And then schedule time for things that feel great, fun, that you can sink your teeth into or explore. And then schedule time for the things that of course matter to you, that are with other people and part of the holiday festivities.

Outside of those three things you can work. And I still think Monday map, Friday wrap is the way to go because you plan your week and you honor your plan, period. But what I'm giving you today lets you think a little bit further ahead so that you make sure to put guardrails around the things that matter for you this holiday season.

All right everybody, a quickie but a goodie, talk to you soon. Bye.

Hey, you may not know this, but there's a free guide for a process I teach called Monday Map, Friday Wrap. If you go to, it's all yours. It's about how to plan your time and honor your plans so that week over week more work that moves the needle is getting done in less time. Go to to get your free copy.

Thank you for listening to The Law Firm Owner Podcast. If you're ready to get clearer on your vision, data, and mindset, then head over to where you can plug in to Quarterly Strategic Planning, with accountability and coaching in between. This is the work that creates velocity.

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