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I don’t know about you, but I’m SO looking forward to some downtime over Christmas.

November and December always feel like this mad dash to get everything ticked off by the end of the year, so the chance to switch off and recharge the batteries often feels like it can’t come round fast enough!

But it can be hard to switch off over this break, especially when there’s a lot going on in your business and at home.

So, here are my seven tips to give yourself the best chance of a stress-free Christmas break (where work is concerned anyway!)…

🎄 Make a to-do list early on, but make it realistic

There’s always a million and one things you feel like you should be doing in your business. So, when a big milestone like Christmas and the New Year comes around, it’s good to pause and take stock of all those jobs you have left on your to-do list. Break these jobs down into what needs to be done before the break and what can wait until afterwards. You might need to go through the list a couple of times before you have a plan that’s realistic and achievable in this short time frame. 

🎄  Plan for when you’re back

There’ll always be jobs that you just don’t have time to tick off before you take a break. And that’s OK. Instead of holding all of these jobs in your head over the Christmas break, why not use your last day in the office to make an action plan of how you’re going to get these things done when you’re back. Writing everything down on a piece of paper will mean that all you have to worry about is what time the turkey needs to come out of the oven on Christmas day!

🎄  Give plenty of warning 

It’s often assumed that most people will be taking the Christmas holidays off work, but this just isn’t possible for some businesses. Start having conversations now and give your clients and suppliers as much warning as possible. Knowing when you will and won’t be available means they can plan for this and will be less likely to contact you during your time off. I’m already starting to have these conversations with my clients because I want to make sure we have a plan in place so that their countdown to Christmas will be as stress-free as possible.

🎄  Turn on your ‘out of office’ early!

This is something I try to do before any holiday, not just Christmas. Turning your ‘out of office’ on a day or two before you officially switch off just gives you that extra breathing space to finish this year without the distractions or stress. Plus, it manages your clients’ expectations for when they can expect a reply.

Preparing your countdown in advance helps lessen the stress of getting everything done before you go on your break. It’s also helpful for keeping track of the jobs you need to do once you’re back in the office, without having to worry about keeping them front of mind for your entire break.

Giving your brain a well-deserved rest is one of the most important things you can do over Christmas. Although avoiding the temptation to check in with work now and again is admittedly easier said than done.

These next 3 tips are things you can be doing or planning for your break in order to give yourself the time and headspace you need to come back feeling fully refreshed in January…

🎄  Avoid checking your phone and emails every day 

I’m the first to admit this is easier said than done – particularly if you run your business through your phone. But, there are steps you can take to make this break a little easier such as; 

  • Setting your ‘out of office’ so people know you’re away. 
  • Muting notifications from certain apps (like gmail and outlook).
  • Recording a Christmas voicemail to let people know when you’ll be back in the office.

These should all take a maximum of 5 minutes to put in place and are great tools to help manage your clients expectations about when they can expect a reply from you.

🎄  Spend some time outside 

I always think it feels like such a treat getting out and enjoying the fresh air during the winter months. When work usually takes over your daylight hours, there’s nothing better for boosting your mood than breaking free of the routine and enjoying a brisk winter walk. 

If you can, head out to the countryside; the openness and tranquility is great for reducing stress and clearing your head – especially after one too many glasses the night before! 

🎄  Prioritise yourself 

As a business owner, you spend a lot of time prioritising other people’s needs over your own. So this Christmas, make sure to schedule in some time for yourself. If you can, plan a day (or a couple of opportune moments!) to do all of your favourite things. You might like to pamper yourself a little with a relaxing bubble bath, go on one of your favourite walks, get an early night, read a book and generally take it easy. Self-care, in any form that works for you, is crucial if you want to be at the top of your game.

Ticking off everything you want to achieve in time to properly wind down and enjoy your Christmas can often feel like a feat in itself. If you’d like some help ticking off a couple of those urgent jobs in the run up to Christmas, let’s talk more

We’d love to help take some of that pressure off your shoulders to help you end this year on a high.

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