The Only Two Tips You Need to Help Manage the Chaos of the Holidays While Still Running Your Business

By: Melanie Colusci

 

This time of year can definitely be challenging. It seems like not only are we trying to:

  • Wrap up business
  • Clear out inventory
  • Track expenses and update budgets
  • Plan for next year

 

But we also have the added challenges of:

  • Holiday parties
  • Gift buying and giving
  • Family visits
  • Baking and the list goes on and on

 

It can definitely be overwhelming and stressful when it’s hard to get the day to day activities done let alone add the additional components the holidays bring. So, managing your day as efficiently and effectively as possible becomes critical.

 

Here are my tips to help survive the holidays and also start the new year with some great habits:

 

  • Say No and be Intentional

Ok, I know, saying no is easier said then done. HOWEVER, intentionality is key if you want to reduce the stress and chaos that happens this time of year.  That means, don’t let yourself get caught in the trap of saying yes when it’s not really what you want or what is best for you at that moment.

 

I have a hard time saying no to people. I have worked hard on not saying no, rather saying not yet. If I am asked for help with something and it is in the middle of my focus time or one of my time blocks, I will say “I would love to help, however I am in the middle of something right now, I will be able to help you during x time. Will that work?” This lets the person know I am happy to help and that I am just finishing something up.

 

I had someone ask me once if I was working everyone else’s plan or if they were working mine.  It took me awhile to figure out what that really meant. What I concluded, and had to ask myself was, am I saying no (or not yet) and am I being intentional throughout my day. Or, am I reacting and just putting out fires.

 

  • Time Block

What does this actually mean? Well, time blocking is the practice of scheduling time in your calendar to focus specifically on one task or item at a time. By blocking your time in your calendar throughout the day it enables you to accomplish more and with less stress.  There are a few components to time blocking that are important to incorporate as you are scheduling your time. They are:

  • Schedule time at the beginning of the day to complete the most critical items
    • As I call them in my business, these are the “green” activities or money generating activities
    • You want to do the hardest items or most important items first when you are most fresh
    • I actually color code these in my calendar green
  • Schedule in buffer time
    • You will get interruptions throughout the day and you have to account for this
    • You will have unexpected urgent items pop up occasionally that have to be addressed
      • Having buffer time allows you to address these items and not throw off the rest of your schedule
    • Schedule a block of time to work on your goals or strategic items that help your business get to the next level
      • The day to day often takes so much time that if we are not intentional about working on our goals they can be easy to set aside and possibly forgotten
    • Schedule a block of time to specifically focus on marketing
      • This could be e-mail marketing, social media, direct mail whatever you do for your business
    • Schedule time to work on your to-do list
      • I know to-do lists are never ending and in order to not let them get out of control it’s important that we periodically spend time “crossing things off the list”
    • Schedule time for celebrating and recharging
      • This is one that I really struggle with, but it’s important that you give yourself the break to recharge
      • If you hit a goal that you were working toward or you get your work done early for the week, schedule Friday afternoon off and do something you have been wanting to do for some time – this is reward time!

By blocking out your time it helps keep focus and stops us from spreading ourselves too thin by over committing.

 

It’s crucial to practice these tips on a regular basis. You will find the more you incorporate these into your daily routine the more you are able to accomplish with less stress!  Use these tips to help manage your time and tame the chaos of the holidays. So, you can spend it in a way that brings you peace and joy.

 


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