Posted 7 years ago
When you own a business, the entire month of December turns into a haze of end-of-the-year deadlines, squeezing in as many client meetings as possible, employee reviews, and next-year planning. The chaos at work can make it difficult to have any semblance of a personal life, but for many this is an especially important time to spend with families because of the holidays. If you’re feeling overwhelmed this season, here are a few ideas for making work more productive while still giving yourself some downtime.
Four Tips for Work Life Balance During the Holiday Season
by Julie Morris
Create structure When you’re looking at a haphazard to-do list of absolutely everything you need to accomplish, the entire thing seems impossible pretty quickly. Give yourself some structure to keep you both organized and prioritized. Some people prefer to use calendars or digital schedulers, while others might like a well-ordered to-do list where they can easily check off completed tasks. When it comes to your personal responsibilities, you can incorporate them into your daily list of tasks or make a separate list completely. Do whatever makes most sense in your mind, so long as it’s organized and laid out in a manageable way.
Be strategic with your time Some people are most productive first thing in the morning, others thrive in the evening hours. Stop to consider what times of day you tend to be more effective with your work, and do what you can to arrange your tasks accordingly. If you have a big project that you’ll need serious focus and limited interruptions for, consider heading into the office early one morning or working through lunch to get it done. Keep in mind that you’ll want to save some of your positive time for your family, as well. If you’re a morning person, take your spouse and kids to breakfast one Saturday morning — they should get to see you at your best, too, especially if your time with them is limited during the busy season!
Be flexible Flexibility is going to be your friend this season, so be willing to make compromises when it comes to employee schedules and time off. Allowing someone a long lunch to go see their child’s pageant, for example, could even make them work harder before and afterward — they’ll feel a sense of duty to get their work completed before the show and be gracious about coming back to work later. Show your workers that just as you want some family time in the coming weeks, you’re willing to work with them to help them enjoy their holidays, too. Happy workers are productive ones, and having a positive work environment can make a major difference when it comes to tackling early mornings, pushing through late nights, and all the chaos in-between.
Ask for help We’re all human and we all have limits — don’t push yourself past yours! Asking for help is a great way to make your to-do list more realistic and an excellent chance to build new skills in your workers. For example, perhaps you usually prefer to do a certain task, but your current workload is already jam-packed; let go of the need for control and delegate it to a capable employee. Workers get the opportunity to prove they’re able to take on more work, and having fresh eyes on a task can open all kinds of doors for operational improvements. And don’t forget to ask for help with personal tasks, too! You might consider hiring a personal shopper to grab everything on your shopping list, a pet sitter to look after your critters on particularly long work days, or even a maid service to get your house in order before holiday festivities. We live in an age of, “There’s an app/service for that,” so take advantage! Believe it or not, you really can have it all — professionally and personally! Remember to get yourself structured, strategize your working habits, be flexible with employees, and ask for help to make the most of the holiday season.
Julie Morris is a life and career coach. She thrives on helping others live their best lives. It’s easy for her to relate to clients who feel run over by life because she’s been there. After years in a successful (but unfulfilling) career in finance, Julie busted out of the corner office that had become her prison. Today, she is fulfilled by helping busy professionals like her past self get the clarity they need in order to live inspired lives that fill more than just their bank accounts. When Julie isn’t working with clients, she enjoys writing and is currently working on her first book. She also loves spending time outdoors and getting lost in a good book.