Is it just me or does it seem like time has been ratcheted up? Not that long ago the new Fall season was just getting started and now we are quickly moving toward the holiday season.
This means there are more school and church functions, festivities, and planning ahead for Thanksgiving and Christmas. All of this while running a business from home! How can you possibly manage it all?
In order to keep your schedule on task and remain productive you need to have a plan in place. Here are some simple ways to get your priorities in order so that your day does not get away from you.
1 – Multitasking can be counter-productive
While it may be tempting to take your party planning and shopping lists to your home office it’s better to set those things aside until your important work is done. If you focus on too many things at once you will become less productive. This might require dedicating a day or two for these types of activities. Find out what your typical light days are and coordinate around smaller holidays like Halloween and Veterans Day. Put this into your calendar just like you would with a meeting or upcoming appointment so that you’re not tempted to steal away time during your work day.
2 – Create a brainstorming session
Once the holidays are in full swing it seems that ideas start going out the window. One way to keep the momentum going is to start getting ready for your plans in the new year with meetings with your team or by creating a vision board for yourself if you have a solo business. Catch up on any books you’ve been meaning to read and take note of any fresh ideas you can use. This positive approach helps you both enjoy the holidays and look forward to what’s in store for the future.
3 – Finish up those important projects
Start now to move toward getting your pressing tasks and top priorities completed before Thanksgiving begins. That way you’ll be able to decrease your work load after and stay in the general flow that everyone else is experiencing — the big holiday slow down. Try not to schedule new large projects until after the new year when you can have a fresh approach.
4 – Communicate your holiday schedule
Write a friendly email to your clients, team members, friends and family to welcome in the new season and wish them all well in the times ahead. This is a good opportunity to provide them with your upcoming schedule and what to expect. Provide specific dates and times that they can get a hold of you and when you will not be available. This keeps everyone in the loop and helps eliminate any stress that might arise with the normal routine being interrupted.
5 – You don’t need to say ‘yes’ to everything
Celebrations should be fun and enjoyable instead of something to be dreaded. Avoid over committing to invitations that come your way so that you can choose a few that will really count and create lasting memories. These events can easily take over your work week and put you behind on your schedule. Less is better when it comes to both running a business and enjoying the holidays.
6 – Perform a weekly review
At the end of each week take some time to determine whether your business is still on task. This will help you to learn what needs to change and whether distractions are getting in the way. Make a note of what can be done differently and what has worked well for the new week ahead. As you move forward stay focused on day by day without looking too far ahead. When a holiday or vacation day arrives just celebrate and leave your work at the office — it will be there when you get back.
7 – Slow down and take care of yourself
The hustle and bustle of the holidays does not have to be the norm for our lives. In fact, we tend to just accept this notion and start rushing around so much that we don’t stop to take care of ourselves and spend precious time with our families. Take some quality time to reconnect with relationships and to pamper yourself. Some of us love the mall, and while others might want a walk on a trail. Whatever your go-to time is be sure to take advantage of it and enjoy those around you.
This year make the holidays a time to stay productive, but not go into overdrive. Determine ahead of time to set up a temporary schedule that allows you to truly enjoy this time and allows you to stay fresh and creative for the year ahead. The way we end the year will be how we start the new one.