Mince pies anyone?

Christmas offers up the best time for prevarication. I can waste an endless amount of time eating yet another mince pie, training and stretching my stomach in readiness for the real challenge yet to come – Christmas lunch – on average 7,000 calories apparently!

Anything to avoid actually working. I don't mind admitting that I am finding it really hard, nay (was that the sound of deer on the roof?) impossible, to keep from being distracted and get on with anything resembling profitable output.

Apart from the obligatory distractions of Christmas present buying, including those extra tricky 'Secret Santa' (success or distress for a fiver), there are so many extra curricula 'only at Christmas' activities we have to squeeze in around the daily grind. Time management – Bah Humbug !

Take writing this column for example. I know I have to do it. I know when it has to be ready. But how long have I still messed around sorting my in tray (well, lifting and replacing the contents) and archiving irrelevant emails – generally trying to cheat my serious head, which by the way is getting very frustrated with me, into thinking that I really am, 'going to get on with it in a minute' – honest!

If this sounds familiar we may have finally got to the point of this column. Most of us are charged with the job (apart from the day one obviously) of chief custodian of everything historically assigned to womenfolk – you don't you really need a list.

Whilst mere mortals are relaxing on their sofas and enjoying some time off, we find ourselves 'just loading the washing machine, writing a few cards, checking my emails – be there in a minute'

At times like this, when the burden is exacerbated by the small matter of offering up the best Christmas you can – (and by the 25th!) is it at all surprising that your coping mechanism flashes Rudolph red alert and offers you yet another mince pie by way of a platitude?

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Quite frankly, no. And, if like me your problem is compounded by enjoying the freedom of working for yourself, then you are in double trouble – my kitchen has never been so clean or the dishwasher emptied and refilled so frequently.

I have a New Year's resolution. It is to find fellow sufferers who love working for themselves, but also enjoy the discipline of mindless chat around the photocopier and want to hot desk a little. I seek the holy grail of really 'logging off' and I am already reserving my place on the sofa.

Of course, there is always the danger that my attention will still wander and I am thinking that I should install a token dishwasher close by said hot desk – to stack and re-stack at will; thus fooling my sensible head into thinking that I am being productive .. . after all.

Mary-Jane works as coach and mentor in her business Green Light. Go to www.green-light.uk.com