Take it to the [Planning] Limit, One More Time

Holiday walnuts

‘Tis the season to be jolly! The holidays are headed our way, and while they hold a certain amount of excitement and anticipation for most of us, there can also be an amount of dread for what can sometimes feel like the impending train wreck of scheduling conflicts, multiplying events to attend, and the inevitable dual between deadlines and holidays.

Image courtesy of Pixabay and Mupfel80

Image courtesy of Pixabay and Mupfel80

Surviving the 8 weeks from Thanksgiving to New Years can sometimes feel impossible when you’re a business owner, but it is possible to make it!

Here a few pointers on meet your goals and deadlines, and even enjoying a celebration or two in the meantime:

  1. Know what you’re getting into. As far in advance as you can, start scheduling your holiday season. This is the time of year when the lines of social/private life and business life blur and intersect far more often than at any other time of the year. Try to plan for family/friend expectations ahead of time so you are able to make those a priority (because, after all, that is what holidays are all about!). Also find out what work-related obligations may be on the horizon.
  2. Schedule the time you need to meet your deadlines. Block out days or hours when you will be working, and then guard those hours with a vengeance! If last-minute invites come in, treat your scheduled “productivity hours” with respect and don’t violate them.
  3. Do your best to keep your boxes separate. When you’re at work, keep your head in the working game. When you’re celebrating with your family or friends, be ‘all-in’ and keep work out of your head for the time being. Both your work and social life are important and need your full attention; giving half your attention to either one because you’re distracted by the other will only disappoint you and those around you.
  4. Become good at juggling. With the busyness of the season, your days may require more hat-switching than you may be used to. Make a list of your objectives for the day (or week), and keep yourself on task; this way your hat-switching can be effective rather than distracting.
  5. Just roll with it! Realize that some of your best-laid plans might come unraveled at some point. Simply put, this means being flexible and adjusting mid-plan so that you still reach your goal. Sometimes Plan A transitions to Plan B, which is then adjusted to Plan B 2.0. Understand that some things will be outside of your control. Don’t let that ruin your day.

While you may feel stretched beyond your capacity, don’t forget to take the time to enjoy the holidays, celebrations, and gatherings you find yourself in, one moment at a time. Here’s to having a productive and memorable holiday season!

 

Jamie

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