Can we all just take a moment to agree that 2020 has been a fucking hard year? It’s been challenge after challenge, obstacle after obstacle, and the fact that you’ve made it through in once piece is frankly amazing. And we’ve all definitely earned some time off over Christmas.
But if you run a business, then taking some time off over the festive period can feel difficult, and it can make you feel really anxious over the whole holiday. Which, let’s be honest, no one wants. So what can you do now, BEFORE you break up for Christmas, to prep your business for you to not be around, and get you in the right headspace to actually enjoy your time off? We have a few suggestions….
Stop Saying Yes
Look, I’m a big believer in helping out everyone and anyone when I can. And in the normal course of things, I’m very much a yes person. But at this point in the year? Unless it’s life or death, the answer is probably no. Right now is when you need to be focussing on wrapping up your existing projects and making sure everything is ready for you to step away. You don’t need any extra projects clogging up that system. So just for a little while, stop saying yes to everything. Instead, carefully consider what you already have on your plate, and if you can really cope with anything being added to it. If the answer is anything other than an enthusiastic ‘hell yes’ – then it’s a no, and it can wait until the New Year.
Plan, Plan, Plan
You know the old saying – if you fail to plan then you’re planning to fail? Well, that’s especially true at Christmas time. Just like your Christmas shopping, it often pays to get your ducks in a row early on, and know exactly how you’re going to handle everything over the festive period. This means working out when you’re going to set the out of office to start, and how you’re going to get everything done before then. Part of that is setting a priority list, and working out what tasks really do need to be done before Christmas, and which could wait until you’re back in the office full time again in January. Because yes, not every single thing has to be wrapped up in a nice little bow before you go away, and when you start to list out your priorities, you’ll be surprised at just how much can wait!
Keep People Informed
The key to making sure you don’t get angry messages, or any messages, over the festive period is to set out your plans with the relevant people, and make sure you stick to them. This doesn’t have to be anything huge or detailed – it can simply be an email out to all clients stating your working and shutdown hours over the Christmas period, when to expect you back, and what to do if they have any issues. Put the same message across your social media platforms, and you should cut off a lot of unnecessary contact over Christmas straight away. If people know what’s going on, they can decide for themselves how to handle their issue (and 9 times out of 10 they will push it into 2020).
Cut Yourself Some Slack
And finally, give yourself a break! As business owners we feel a lot of pressure to always be ‘on’, and constantly ready to respond to our clients needs at a moment’s notice. But you need some time to relax and decompress, otherwise you’re going to burn out. Everyone else in the country is switching off for Christmas, and it’s totally OK for you to do the same. So give yourself permission to turn off the emails and not look at them again until next year. Switch off the work phone, and just enjoy the time off. Trust me, everything will still be there when you go back in the New Year.
And on that note, we’re off! We hope you have a fantastic Christmas and New Year, get in some well-deserved rest, and come back in January refreshed and ready to take on the world. And until then, have fun!