Being a Business Owner provides plenty of conveniences and freedoms. But being your own boss is not all about calling the shots and working from home in your pajamas. Entrepreneurship comes with a lot of responsibility. You set your own schedule and manage your productivity so work gets done. And work-life balance is always a challenge. But especially during the holiday season.
So how does a Business Owner keep their workflow running smoothly while also taking the necessary time off to enjoy loved ones during the holiday season? Here are some strategies to help with work-life balance during the holiday season.
#1 – Set Intentional Goals
From October to February there are national holidays and special events from Halloween and Thanksgiving all the way to New Year’s and The Super Bowl. Set intentional goals for your business during these months — especially if you anticipate a holiday slow down.
What are your main priorities in terms of projects and work opportunities? Are you willing to accept spontaneous requests if they align with your core priorities?
For example, if your goal is to increase your income for the new year, you may be interested in accepting a new client or project. However, that may mean more work for you over the holiday season, and you’ll need to plan accordingly. Or, this could mean you may want to focus your time on developing some residual income streams so you can earn money while putting in limited time and effort on your end.
Get clear on your business goals for the next few months so you know exactly where to dedicate your time and energy.
#2 – Set Expectations With Family and Work Associates
Now that you know what your goals are, plan a realistic schedule to help you get through the holiday season without overworking or underworking.
Determine how much time you’ll need to put into your work over the holiday season and how you’ll plan to take time off as needed. Consider which holidays you’ll consider taking more time off for and then set realistic expectations with family and anyone you work with.
Give your team and your clients a heads up a few weeks in advance to notify them of any changes to your availability or schedule. Don’t just assume that no one will be during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Send out specific dates so communication is clear.
This can be especially helpful if you have clients who don’t observe the same holidays you do or who live abroad.
Communicate your schedule to your family and make arrangements to attend events and activities that take place outside of your intentional work hours.
#3 – Work Ahead
Working ahead on projects is one of the best things you can do to make sure you’re not spending too much time on your business during the holidays and neglecting loved ones.
Sometimes, knowing when to pump the brakes as a Business Owner, because your income depends heavily on your ability to work and be productive. If you need to take a week or two off to visit family or entertain your kids over their holiday break, you’ll probably want to work ahead and schedule out as much as you can.
Try waking up an extra hour each day or staying up an extra hour each night so you can work ahead in your business. You may even have to spend a Saturday at the office. But make it fun! Either invite some fellow entrepreneurs to co-work or spend a few hours working at a cozy coffee shop.
If you have client work, coordinate with your client to work ahead on assignments. Clients should appreciate this since they are probably also trying to enjoy the holidays. Do remember to note that you will break up the billing so that December’s tasks get paid out in December and January’s tasks get paid out during January.
Try to schedule marketing and promotional emails ahead of time too. If you plan on running a Black Friday sale, for example, you can schedule a lot of the promotion ahead of time so you don’t have to actively engage with marketing over Thanksgiving weekend.
#4 – Set an Autoresponder
When you do officially unplug from your business to enjoy the holidays, make sure to set an email autoresponder along with a voicemail if you tend to receive a lot of business calls.
Draft a polite (or funny!) response letting people know you’re unavailable. Include the specific dates to indicate how long you’ll be out of the office.
Include some helpful links or answers to common questions in your message. You may want to link to an FAQ or specific landing page on your website or link to your calendar so people can schedule meetings or discovery calls with you when you return.
#5 – Make Time For What’s Important
Just like you schedule meetings and set deadlines in your business, schedule time to do fun things with family and make memories during your time off.
Set up meetings with old friends who come into town for the holidays, add parties and events to your calendar, and think of new traditions you can celebrate with loved ones.
Focus on being completely present or else all the hard work you did to afford time off will have been in vain.
When you return to your business, the goal is to feel fully charged, refreshed and ready to tackle 2019!
The views and opinions expressed are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of MindShift.money.
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