The holidays are here! It may look a little different this year due to the pandemic, but that doesn’t stop the busy season of business from booming. With all this cheer and excitement going on around the world, some of you might be wondering how you are going to get everything you need to get done before it’s time to enjoy the holidays yourself.
As an entrepreneur, chances are you struggle to take time off because if you don’t work then neither does the business, right? Wrong. Sure, your professional lifestyle may call for you to answer calls and emails asap, but that doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze in some time to allow yourself to recharge. Fortunately, it’s that time of the year where many businesses and entrepreneurs take vacations and breaks for the holidays (it’s practically the one time of the year when it’s easy to sneak in some guilt-free time off).
We’re here to help you create a plan and map out what you need to do in order to free up time to relax and spend time with loved ones during the holidays.
Set Your Goals
Since there are less than two months left in the year, it’s a good time to reassess your goals for Q4 and the year as a whole. Are you on track to accomplishing everything you set out for? What do you absolutely need to achieve before the end of the year? Take some time to prioritize what needs to be done immediately and what can wait till the next year or quarter. Then, create a schedule for the time you have left.
Give A Heads Up to Clients, Colleagues, and Customers
Many people are taking time off, so don’t guilt-trip yourself into feeling like you have to keep working. Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, you’re bound to receive many away emails and hear back from others when they get back from vacation. However, the key here is to give your clients, colleagues, and customers a heads up that you’ll be gone for a certain period of time.
Now, you don’t have to explain yourself or go into full detail as to what your plans are, but a simple message can go a long way. Nothing is more frustrating than starting a conversation with someone and then going to follow up with them a few days later only to get an auto out-of-office response. Another great mindfulness tip is to leave good contact information for emergencies, whether it’s your phone number or a team member's email, where the person inquiring can still get what they need.
The best way to ensure that your business is still functioning efficiently is to put systems in place. Delegate as much work as possible to you and your team members. Create timelines and establish due dates for any projects being worked on during the holidays so everyone is on the same page. Your team members will most likely be looking forward to time off, so be mindful of how you’re preparing them to be able to get their work done but also spend time away.
This doesn’t just stop in the workplace. Get family members and friends to help with holiday preparations. We all know how much work goes into decorating, cooking, shopping… the list goes on and on. So, devise a plan with your loved ones and the holidays will be more enjoyable for all.
The holidays are some of the busiest times of the year between balancing client work, gift shopping, and everything in between. To give you peace of mind, schedule everything you have coming up work-wise and in your personal life into one calendar. And try to get dates of events as soon as possible so you can plan accordingly.
By being consistent with this habit, you can easily manage everything coming your way. But, if you think you might not have enough time to accomplish something, delegate it to someone else or see how you can outsource.
Set Boundaries (And Stick to Them)
Do you often say ‘yes’ too much? Remember that overworking yourself is often your own doing. Take everything you have going on into consideration before committing to anything outside of work that you must get done. The holidays might not be the best time to take on new projects or more workloads. And the worst-case scenario, agreeing to something you don’t get done on time can lead to negative consequences.
Be realistic of what you can and cannot do during this time. If you agree to help a client out, will you be missing out on a family gathering? You always have the option to say yes, but just be sure that you are making the best decision given your situation.
Don’t Feel Guilty
‘Tis the season to be cheerful and merry. Don’t waste the holidays feeling guilty about wanting to spend time with loved ones and taking the time to recharge yourself. Be present over the holidays and focus on the people around you. You’re able to work pretty much whenever you would like, but spending time with the people who matter to you the most should be a priority because it might not come often.
A break also gives your body and mind a chance to rebuild and refocus. You’ll come back once all the celebrations are done with a fresh perspective, ready to do more with your business and be more successful than before.