Three top tips to buy yourself some time before Christmas

It’s called the silly season for a reason. Christmas happens every year, at the same time, without fail. Even COVID can’t stop it from happening. Yet, each year we find ourselves in a mad rush, frantically finishing what we have started. By the time we hit Christmas Eve we are exhausted. It takes a good week or two for your body and mind to adjust and before you know it you are back at work not feeling like you had a holiday.
You are not alone, I am certainly guilty of it, but I have learnt how to ease the load and how to transition into holiday mode.

Here are my top 3 tips:

Easier said than done, I get it. Be realistic about your goals. We often underestimate how long things take and therefore we promise our customers to have it done when realistically it is not achievable, especially when you are relying on third parties. Supply chains have been heavily impacted by lockdowns and staff shortages.
Re-assess your workload and call your customers to manage their expectations this week. Don’t wait until we get to the middle of December. Give your customer and clients time to plan.
If you can push your orders or completion dates to next year, do it! People are more understanding than you think, and it takes a huge load off your shoulders. If you get it done beforehand, even better.

Cut yourself some slack and stop committing to new jobs before Christmas. You are now focussing on getting things done, not starting new jobs.
Tackle the more challenging tasks now, so you can tick them off your list and move on to the more compelling and “easier” tasks. It will take away the overwhelm as Christmas approaches.
Don’t answer phone calls when you are in the middle of doing something. Statistically only 2% of people can multi-task. It will take you 4-5 times longer to complete a task if you get interrupted. If you work in a busy office, close the door, and let your peers know that you are not available for a while.
Don’t skip breaks! This is a big one. You are more productive after you had a break. Eat regularly and keep hydrated.

Delegate – Write a list of things that need to be done before you go on holiday. Ask yourself what you can delegate within your team. Remember, delegation is not telling people what to do, rather giving them the resources to do the job well.
Outsource – Consider what can be outsourced to third parties, especially if it makes sense for you to focus on other things economically. There are literally hundreds of things you can outsource. Here are some examples:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Social Media / Advertising
  • Payroll
  • Health & Safety
  • HR
  • IT

Stick to your skillset and let the experts do the rest. Your time is more valuable doing what you are good at.
Change – Can you automate things in your business or change the way things are done? If you are writing reports or minutes for a meeting, you may want to consider using apps like Descript or Dragon Dictation to transcribe recordings.

People perform better in the right environments. If you are performing jobs that require focus, make sure there is a space available with minimal distractions.
Ask yourself how workflow is currently handled, where the hurdles are, and how you can make it flow more efficiently.

Scrap – This is how we have always done it… sound familiar? Times change and so do processes. Consider if you can get rid of procedures or protocols. Often, they make things take longer. In this day in age, we can utilise technology in the way that avoids double handling of data and documents.

Evaluate printing and paper filing, do you really have to? Most businesses have computers, electronic filing is second nature.

I don’t want you to think about big projects to change or scrap. In this context it is designed for instant pressure release. Plan projects for the new year and break them down so it does not become overwhelming.

If you want to learn more about how to let go and create a business that you can slowly step away from, get in touch. We are registered providers for the Regional Business Partners which means that you can receive up to 50% funding to work with us.

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