Can you believe that the holidays are right around the corner? Actually, they’re not right around the corner, they’re here. They’re already knocking on the door! I’m still trying to get over the fact that July 4th already came and went, amiright?!
Considering we just bought and renovated a townhouse, the school year is well under way, and everything else that life and business throws our way, I feel so unprepared. Every year I tell myself I’ll get Christmas shopping done early and every year I’m still buying gifts days before Christmas. Which, if you know me, is shocking because I’m usually such a planner and organizer, but when it comes to shopping for gifts I always put it off.
This time of the year can be extra busy for families and business owners because of all of the extra commitments and the fact that most kids have a lot of time off from school in November and December which means less time to work in and on our businesses than we usually have. As a business owner, this time is especially busy as we try to meet our goals, reflect on the year we’ve had, and prepare for the year ahead. It can also mean putting in extra time that days and times that we do have to work, rushing projects, and ultimately starting to burn out a little.
In this post, I wanted to share some tips with you on how prevent burnout in your online service based business during the holidays.
Stick to Your Boundaries
In my personal experience I’ve found that the quickest way to burnout is by not enforcing your boundaries with clients. A lot of business owners, especially us people pleasers, have a hard time enforcing boundaries because it feels confrontational. I think the word “enforcing” should be replaced with something else because it has a negative connotation to it, right? Let’s call it respecting our boundaries instead.
Respecting our own boundaries is really just stating or reiterating a matter of facts. For example, our “office hours” are 9-4 pm EST. That’s a FACT, and if a client needs something from you outside of those hours then they’ll need to wait until the next day you’re available. We understand that we can’t shop inside a Target store once it’s closed for the evening, right? We know that when they’re open for business the next day we can go and get what we need during their business hours, right? Well, the same goes for our clients.
How to Stick to Our Boundaries
Are you someone who is super tempted to respond to a message in Slack or email after hours? Trust me, I get it. I cannot stand having things undone or unanswered knowing that I’ll have to add that my to-do list the following day. So, here are some ways that can help you stick to your boundaries:
- Set up your work hours in Slack so that it will silence any notifications until your working hours the following day.
- Set up auto-responders wherever available so that if a client contacts you outside of work hours they understand that you’re not currently working and you’ll respond the next business day.
- If you’re using something like Dubsado to send out emails, contracts, proposals, etc., make sure that you set up your work hours within the Workflow tab.
- If you have to respond to an email (to get it off of your to-do list and out of your mind) then type out your response but schedule it to send during your regular business hours.
Clearly Communicate Expectations with Your Clients
The holiday season brings lots of additional committments both inside and outside of your business. If you’re a parent with school age children, you might have lots of activities to attend at their school or lots of days off from school. Make sure that you’re looking ahead at your calendar and know where you need to be and when. Be sure to communicate any of those days/ times that you won’t be available for client work or calls with your clients with enough notice.
If the holiday season tends to bring on extra work or projects for you and your clients, make sure you’re communicating with them how much notice you need in order to get something done for them on time. Again, make sure that you’re open with your clients about your expectations and your needs so that you can help them as best as you can.
Just Say No
Just because you’re invited to parties, social gatherings, etc. doesn’t mean that you have to say yes! If something is not a hell yes then it’s a hell no. Overcommitting yourself is going to lead to stress, overwhelm, and burnout. This time of the year is supposed to be enjoyed with your family and friends. Just because you get invited to something doesn’t mean that you have to attend. You are allowed to say no!
Take Care of Yourself
Lastly, make sure that you’re taking some time for yourself every single day throughout this holiday season (and every day!). That doesn’t have to mean a spa day or an hour work out at 5 am. I used to believe that the only time of day that I could work out was early in the morning (like 5 am). The days I didn’t wake up or get to work out in the morning I just wouldn’t work out at all because I had identified as a morning work out person for so long. Well, what I’ve come to understand now is that there are seasons in life and what I used to do in one season may not make sense for my life now.
Now that my kids are a little older and they’re not waking up at the ass crack of dawn, I want to sleep in (and by sleeping in, I mean like…7 am!). Sleeping in and getting enough sleep is more important to me in this season of life than getting up at 5 am to go to the gym or workout. Does that mean that I won’t or won’t try? No, it just means that I’ll listen to my body and do whatever work out I feel best doing that day at a time that works better for me.
Here are some simple ways to can take care of yourself every day that don’t take a lot of time:
- Drink your morning drink in silence (without scrolling social media)
- Stretch – this is something I’ve started doing first thing in the morning and my body is responding really well!
- Work out
- Take a walk
- Sit outside for 5 minutes
- Take your vitamins
- Drink your water
- Give what you need – if there’s something you need in your life right now (ie. referrals, testimonials, a smile, etc.) then give that to someone else. You’ll be amazed how it comes back to you.
Enjoy Your Holiday
I recognize that the holiday season isn’t a joyful or happy time for everyone, but I know they can be stressful for most. Make sure that you’re respecting your boundaries, communicating clearly with those around you about your expectations and needs, say no when it’s not a hell yes, and take care of yourself. Remember that this time of year is supposed to be a time to rest and reflect.
I hope you found this post helpful!
Tell me in the comments below what you’re doing to prevent burnout this holiday season.
Psst – want to save this for later? Make sure you pin it!