There are few opportunities to take a real break away from our businesses and relax and while Christmas is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for our personal lives, it does give us the chance to step away from our day-to-day business life for a few days or even weeks in some cases.
It can be difficult to find the right way to leave your business behind without those feelings of guilt and regret but it is important to use this time to recharge our batteries and enjoy the holiday season with friends and family. So, how can you strike the balance between taking time off to enjoy Christmas and ensuring your business is in a strong position for the New Year when you return?
Prepare for your break in advance
Knowing when you want to down tools and when you’re going to pick them up again is important. If you offer online courses that follow the school term system in your area closely, are you planning on taking your break at the same time or have a day or two leeway either side for admin and winding down/gearing up?
Once you have the dates in mind, you need to have in mind everything that needs completing before you can close and what needs to be in place before you open up again. Consider not just your client sessions, training, marketing prep and other regular activities but your admin, invoicing and associated tasks too. Many of us deal with our accountants and tax return in January, so will you be ready for that when Christmas is over?
Once you have your list of tasks for completion before your holiday, go through it and highlight the jobs you enjoy and the ones you really hate to do (and probably have been putting off all year!). Of the ones you hate, can you outsource them to a Virtual Assistant or other professional to take care of for you? This gives you more time to focus on the tasks you do enjoy or matter most and can help you claw back some time and resources too.
With the remaining tasks in mind, block out some time over the next few weeks to take care of them. Can you use productivity hacks like the Pomodoro technique to help you blitz through these tasks and manage your time more effectively?
Get your business plan ready for 2022
Once the main events of Christmas are out of the way, it can be tricky to get back into the routine of working. This might particularly be the case if your new course starts later on in January, or your clients are tightening their belts in the New Year and so you have fewer clients than usual.
One of the best ways to get focused and motivated about your business again is by working on your business plan. This should be a yearly (or quarterly) process where you evaluate where your business stands now, where you want it to go in the future and how you’re going to get it there.
The New Year is an ideal time for this as we’re thinking about ourselves and how we want to improve, setting intentions to achieve our goals. Think of a business plan as setting intentions for your business. What do you want to achieve? What would you like to do better over the next twelve months?
If writing a formal business plan isn’t your cup of tea, why not make a mood board; write single statement intentions on a slip of paper, put them all in a jar and take one out each day as a reminder; or even record a video of yourself talking through your plans?
When you have a clear vision in mind of where you want your business to be in 2022, you’ll find it much easier to summon the drive and focus to get you there.
Have you got any tips or tricks for recharging over Christmas and having a strong start to the New Year? I’d love to hear them so drop me a line or comment on my socials to let me know!