The holiday season is rapidly approaching. With holiday preparations starting and work wrapping up, a time that is supposed to be exciting and joyous can quickly become overwhelming and exhausting. Reaching your professional goals and finishing the year strong at work is essential, but how do you prioritize your holiday plans and your end-of-year work expectations?

Check out the following list of dos and don’ts for the holiday season:

Do:

Prepare ahead of time. Attendance drops greatly during the holiday season. It’s essential to prepare for your absence, as well as your teams’ absence. Inform your team when you will be out of the office and catch up on any work that might pile up. This may require some overtime to compensate for the absence.

Take time off work. Take some time off to celebrate the holidays with loved ones. During this time off try to focus on enjoying yourself, rather than what needs to be done when you get back to work.

Network. The holiday season is a great time to network. People are in the holiday spirit and are open to discussing opportunities for next year.

Show appreciation. Buy your coworkers gifts and send clients thank you cards to show appreciation. A Christmas/Thanksgiving card is also a great way to reconnect with your network and maintain the relationship.

Don’t:

Be impatient. Whether you’re applying for a new job or trying to get in contact with a client, don’t be impatient. Most people are taking time off or overwhelmed with work to finish the year strong and will reach out when they get the chance.

Forget to finish the year strong at work. Don’t forget to reach your professional goals and expectations and wrap things up in a way that will allow you to easily jump back into the swing of things after the holidays.

Become overwhelmed. The holiday season can get overwhelming with planning for meals, presents, travel, visitors, etc. It’s best to separate things between work and personal; when you are at work focus on what needs to be accomplished there.

Do: Check out Job Searching During the Holidays to take advantage of the time off.