As we head into the business holiday season, it is easy to forget that family and friends should come before business. There are many ways to keep yourself in control and still enjoy the holidays. One of our posts from last year provides tips for enjoying the holidays and still get work accomplished. These tips are still valid, however, I’d like to add a few more ideas for you.
I think of P.L.A.N. when I think of getting ready for the holidays. What is P.L.A.N.? It is simply a way to focus in a manner that allows me to have the flexibility I want to enjoy the holiday season. This method also helps me plan for vacations.
P – Plan and prioritize
Get the calendar out now and write down every important date. Include business due dates, holiday events, shopping time and family time. Planning it on your calendar gives you a visual reminder of what is important. Make sure that you add some flex time to your schedule for the unexpected. This will allow you to move business activities around without overloading your schedule.
L – List what you can delegate, delay or drop
Don’t feel that you have to do everything yourself. If you have contract staff or employees, share some of the tasks that you often do yourself. Just make sure you don’t overload these people.
A – Action notes
Write out the key action items and dates that need to be handled by you. For instance, you should let your clients know 1-2 weeks in advance that you will be taking time off from your business. This allows them time to get requests in early. These action notes should include a checklist of things you want to accomplish prior to the holiday and another checklist for the first day back.
Your checklist should include:
- Autoresponder email responses for your time off
- Dates for priority items to be completed prior to the holiday
- Detailed lists for those items that were delegated to others
N – Next steps
Owning your own business is not easy and often entrepreneurs do not take time off. By planning your first day back to work ahead of the game, you will alleviate some of the back to work stress that often occurs. Managing what you plan to accomplish on day 1 will help you get back on track and still feel in control after the holiday. These tips may help you make the transition from fun time to business model. It could be helpful to:
- Plan to start work early
- Be sensible in going through your emails. You may not be able to get through everything. Work with priority clients first.
- Meet with your contract staff or employees-see how their holiday went, let them tell you about priorities they have and discuss your priorities. This helps everyone get focused.
When you take time off remember that it is important to relax and enjoy yourself. Don’t feel the need to abandon your holiday plans due to your workload. Simple steps can lessen your holiday anxiety and allow you to enjoy your time with family and friends.
Remember, P.L.A.N and you can take time to recharge yourself and have a terrific holiday season.