For many, the holiday season is a time to relax, be with family, and take a break from the ins and outs of the workplace. However, for small business owners and entrepreneurs, the holidays can be the busiest time of year. It’s an excellent time to reach out to clients, wish them good cheer, and keep them in the loop as to how your business is doing, and what you’re planning for the upcoming year. With all those potential customers and clients opening their wallets for Christmas, the stress of keeping them coming back can be a bit much. This makes it even more important to take a break for yourself as soon as the day-to-day stress of December is behind you and the quiet early weeks of a new year roll in.
An excellent way to greatly reduce your post-holiday workload is to delegate to your employees, or perhaps even a virtual assistant! Time consuming yet relatively simple tasks like updating social media, email marketing, and content creation can quickly eat up the hours of the day, distracting you from more important matters and limiting the time you have to recharge your batteries. By delegating these tasks to someone, you can take time to refocus and consider the future of your business, without being distracted by the hundreds of details and decisions which demand attention day in and day out.
Vacations might seem like a luxury, but time off is essential to your mental and physical health. As the boss, you can easily fall into the trap of putting your client’s or employee’s needs above your own. Don’t forget that you also need a break every now and then, and sometimes more or for a longer stretch. The beginning of a new year is a good time to take stock of everything that lies ahead, and to carve out some time for yourself. Even if that trip won’t be for a few months, just having it on your calendar is exciting, and will remind you that you need time to relax and refresh yourself in order to keep running a successful business. I sit down at the beginning of each year with my family calendar and book my vacations for the entire year, this ensures that we take vacation time together.
Now more than ever, it can be incredibly tempting to remain just as connected to your business while on vacation or taking the day off as you are during a normal work week, utilizing your cell phone, tablet, or laptop to check in from wherever you are. Although sometimes (such as in emergency situations) this can’t be avoided, try to minimize your contact and, again, delegate the details to others. Keeping yourself in the loop can be essential, but a vacation is a time to loosen that tight hold on everything a bit and take some much needed breathing room.
January can be an excellent time to take stock of your business and make plans for the year ahead. Keep records of all the major stresses you experienced over the holiday season, and figure out ways to relieve that pressure for this upcoming year. For example, outsourcing the sending of birthday and anniversary gifts for your clients. You might want to have someone with an outside perspective take a look at your calendar and find places where your time and effort is either wasted or is not used as efficiently as it could be.
We all make New Years Resolutions, but how many of us actually keep them? The reason so many resolutions fail is because they are usually trying to correct some kind of negative behavior, or to force yourself to do something that you really don’t want to do. For the overworked entrepreneur, make your resolution something that you really DO want to do. Start a new hobby, exercise more, read, play. Make your resolution something fun and not work-related, that can act as a stress reliever when things start to heat up at work again. A couple of my New Year Resolutions are spend time leisurely reading and to get outside everyday – even if it is only to take the dogs on a walk around the lake with my son.
Letting go and giving yourself time to relax can be one of the biggest challenges for a small business owner, but its importance can’t be overstated. The holidays are the season of giving, so why not give yourself the present of time, rest, and relaxation? You deserve it!
If you’d like to learn more ways that a virtual assistant team can help you revolutionize your business, I invite you to download my free workbook here.