The holidays bring a unique set of challenges to home business owners. You may be crazy busy with your business or it may slow down and cause you to worry about money. Your customers and clients may become more demanding as they try to finish things up before the holidays. And then there’s all of the holiday prep you have to finish: decorations, gift shopping, gift wrapping, cooking, cleaning, prepping for guests…. It’s enough to fill even the most stalwart home business owner with holiday dread. But there are things you can do to decrease your pre-holiday stress and overwhelm and get back to actually enjoying the holiday season! Here are 10 Holiday Survival Tips for Home Business Owners!
10 Holiday Survival Tips for Home Business Owners
Ideally, the holidays are a time for fun and family, but for many of us, it’s the busiest time of year. Between holiday prep and keeping our businesses afloat through the holiday season, this time of year can become more of a drag than a time for celebration and family fun.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Let’s talk about these 10 Holiday Survival Tips for Home Business Owners, so that you can stress less this season and enjoy the holidays more.
#1 Make a Plan
Christmas is only a few months away. Did your stomach just flip? Mine did!
What needs to get done in the next few months?
Make a list!
Dump all of the to-do’s out of your brain and onto a piece of paper!
Get out a timer and a notepad and write for 10-15 minutes. Consider all areas of your life: home business, home, wife/husband, mother/father, friend, pet owner, church member, group member, extended family member, etc. Lay out all of those to-do’s, so that you can prioritize and make a plan.
Now categorize your list by weeks using 1-[the remaining number of weeks until Christmas].
What needs to be done in Week 1? What can be completed in Week 10? And what must be completed in all of the weeks in between?
Now, you have a plan, and you can work it to be prepared ahead of time!
I talk more about brain dumps and making a plan for your to-do’s in this post: 6 Things To Do on Sunday for the Best Work Week Ever.
#2 Work Your Plan
Each week, look at the list you created in tip #1 and add that week’s tasks to your planner or daily to-do list.
It works best for me to plan on completing one task per weekday, but you may schedule more or less depending on your to-do list and your other time commitments.
#3 Work Smarter
This time of year, there’s double the work to do and half the time to do it. So, what’s a stressed biz owner to do?
Work smarter, so that you can get more done in less time!
Here are 3 key components of working smarter:
Routines – Creating a routine is a simple way to get more done in less time. By establishing a routine, tasks become habit. Not only do we avoid fighting with our inner voice who just wants to have fun, we do the tasks the same way every time, so they get done faster and with a lower output of energy!
Need a little help getting those routines going? Check out this post: How to Create Strong and Lasting Business Routines!
Your To-Do List – There’s an art to writing a good to-do list, and it’s a huge part of being efficient and working smart. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Start each week with a brain dump: record all of the things you need to complete in the coming weeks, then prioritize the list to find the most important and most urgent tasks.
- Keep your daily to-do lists short; no more than 3-5 tasks.
- Break your to-do’s down into single steps and write them as action steps (learn more here).
Find more tips for writing a better to-do list and getting those to-do’s done in this post: How to Write a Better To-Do List.
FOCUS – I left this one for last, because it’s the most important. FOCUS on one thing at a time!
We live in a world where multitasking is cool and revered, but in reality, multitasking crushes our effectiveness.
Scattered and distracted are the enemies of working smart, so turn off those notifications, close your extra browser windows, set a timer for 15-30 minutes, and FOCUS on one thing!
#4 Just Say No!
No is not a bad word, and the holiday months are the perfect time to practice using it!
So, your child’s teacher wants you to bake cupcakes for the whole class. What do you say? No (but maybe you say you’d love to help around Valentine’s Day when your schedule is a little less nuts)!
Your client wants you to take on an additional project. What do you say? No!
Don’t have the energy to send out holiday cards? Just say NO!
By saying no to things that don’t fit with your priorities or that don’t excite you, you can say yes to those things that really matter to you.
Practice saying no often, especially during this time of year.
#5 Use Down Time Effectively
Maybe your business slows down around the holidays. So, why not use some of your business time to propel you into the New Year successfully?!
Clear the clutter, tackle energy sucking unfinished projects, clear out your paper and digital files, learn something new, or rearrange your office into zones for better productivity!
Find tips and a plan for clearing out your digital clutter in this post: Kick Your Digital Clutter to the Curb.
Looking for something new to learn? Check out this post: 5 Must-Read Books for Home Business Owners.
#6 Call in Reinforcements
We aren’t superhuman, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for or hiring a little help during this busy time of year!
- Employ a house cleaner.
- Hire a dog walker.
- Pay a babysitter for a few extra hours a week.
- Hire a Virtual Assistant or Social Media Manager.
- Trade your organization skills to your friend who is an amazing cook. You receive a frozen, home-cooked meal, and she gets a newly organized home office! Talk to your friends and neighbors. You might be surprised at the mutually beneficial arrangements you can make during a conversation.
- Get your kids involved in your home business. (Learn more here: Get Your Kids Involved in Your Home Business.)
- Have a frank conversation with your significant other and ask for help.
Get creative and ask for and offer help!
#7 Set Strong Boundaries
It’s tempting to burn the candle at both ends during this busy time of year, but that also means you run the risk of burning out or getting sick (which will put you even further behind).
Set strong boundaries regarding things like quitting time, client phone time, taking on additional work, taking on additional responsibilities, YOU time, family time, and bedtime (for you and your kids).
#8 Take a Break
Take a little time off and enjoy your family and friends during this special time of year. Schedule an hour in the afternoon for a cup of tea and reading a few pages in a good book.
Or take a few days off.
Your work will be there waiting for you, and you’ll come back to it refreshed, excited, and filled with a renewed creativity.
#9 Cultivate Gratitude
How are you feeling at this moment? Stressed? Tired? Frustrated? Overwhelmed?
Stop what you’re doing right now and write down 10 things for which you’re grateful.
Go ahead. I’ll wait….
Done? So, how do you feel now? Better? Isn’t that awesome?!
The power of gratitude amazes me. It affects my perception, my attitude, my facial expressions, and my health.
Express gratitude every day during this busy time of year (and beyond) and truly experience the beauty of this season!
#10 Find Meaning
This tip goes hand-in-hand with the one above….
What does this time of year mean for you?
For us, this time of year is all about family, fun, and traditions. There’s our Solstice Elves tradition where we draw names and spend the two weeks before Christmas doing kind and considerate things for each other.
We all look forward to our Christmas Eve dinner when my husband cooks a favorite food for each family member, then we play Monopoly into the wee hours of Christmas morning.
Watching uplifting Christmas movies as a family, baking cookies and sharing with the neighbors, enjoying popcorn and hot chocolate while we drive around and look at lights….
These are the things that matter to me and my family, and now that our oldest daughter is living out of state, this year will be even more meaningful as we gather together and enjoy our holiday traditions.
Find what matters to you and your family this holiday season and make time for those activities and traditions.
The holidays bring a unique set of challenges to home business owners, but you can keep your business afloat AND enjoy this special holiday season by employing these holiday survival tips. Start by choosing one or two of the tips to work into your day, then add another and another, until you decrease your stress and get back to actually enjoying the holiday season!
Don’t forget to pin it!
Related Posts You Might Enjoy
If you enjoyed today’s post, you might also enjoy these related posts!
- How to Prioritize Your To-Do List by Asking 5 Simple Questions
- Get Organized with a Tickler File
- 5 Ways to Beat Business Burnout and Re-Energize
I hope you found these tips helpful. Let’s make a pact to not only survive this holiday season but thrive during it!
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