The holidays have never been a time to relax. Many people who work a 9-5 get to take a few extra days off and are busy with family things. These people are not like you. Small business owners don’t get to take anytime off. It is the busiest shopping time of the year and you don’t want to miss out on the influx of sales. It is really important to take a break (internal link here) so it brings a big balance struggle for small businesses.
Here are the best tips and advice we have found:
Be Overly Organized
We already know you have to be organized to run your own business or to be a freelancer. People tend to get less organized during the holiday season due to impromptu orders, extra family and friend events, but that just makes it more important to be organized. Give yourself limits to stay on track. Schedule a meeting with padding on both ends and don’t allow yourself to go over. Sometimes this is really hard and does require some self-control but you can do it!
Plan downtime into your busy schedule. Sometimes stepping away from your problem is what is really needed. Make sure you take some time for yourself to decompress even if it is just a few minutes each day. We all know this but it is hard to do. Take a Break!
Use a virtual assistant
This isn’t Google or Siri but you can hire an assistant agency that will manage everything online and you can get it for pretty cheap. It is a real person monitoring your emails, phone calls, whatever you need, for a defined period of days or even just specific hours during these days. This will help you manage everything and your life will be much easier during the holiday season.
Tell your clients what’s up
It’s hard to remember that they are dealing which the chaos of the holidays and they are swamped too. If they know exactly what days and times they can reach you they will make that work.
Work when you are productive
I am always most productive first thing in the morning. I try to do the most important things at that time. If you are trying to work all the time you won’t be nearly as productive as if you sit down and crank a bunch of stuff out. Trying to cram work into every minute possible slows you down. It is more efficient to take a few hours and work and then spend undivided attention with your family. This is how you maintain a healthy work/life balance that so many small business owners strive for.
Family Time is Family Time!
Just like you put your full attention into your business during business hours you need to put your full attention into your family during family hours. Yes, occasionally something happens and you might have to step away but make sure to only do it if it is a true emergency. I find it easier to have an activity planned. If we are going swimming it is so much easier to be fully engaged in my family then when we are watching a movie. Additionally, when you are fully present it is easier for them to let you go and do what you need to once something does come up.