How to Find Work-Life Balance during the Holiday Season

by Melissa Macaluso

November 16, 2016

Running a business any time of the year is a demanding job, but running one during the holiday season can present an entirely new level of stress. While it would be wonderful to bask in the holiday cheer all the time, the reality of running a business doesn’t quite allow for that, does it? The progress of your business doesn’t just stop for the holiday season and that includes your clients/customers who expect service when promised to them regardless of your plans. So then, how does one balance such a demanding workload with precious family time and your own personal holiday preparation?

  • The earlier you finish your work, the quicker you can enjoy the holidays. Some entrepreneurs are lucky enough to be able to take time off from work during the holiday season, but not everyone can be so lucky. However, it’s not impossible for those of you owning your own business to be able to plan ahead and enjoy some of the holiday fun. Planning ahead is key! There is no rule in the rule book that says we can’t finish our work early enough to attend our kid’s holiday concerts, or take a long weekend trip with the family. Hey, there’s no rule saying you can’t prepare well enough in advance to be able to take a trip longer than a long weekend. Just think in advance, get your work done, and establish a plan for your absence!
  • Set yourself up to be able to take the time you need. It’s a lot easier said than done to just up and leave the business you’re running. In order to do that you need to have someone you trust present to handle the functionality of your business while you’re gone. Find an employee you trust and train her or him to handle the tasks that need attention while you’re taking your well-deserved time off. There may be seemingly more important tasks on your agenda, but when you’re taking your kids to see the tree in Times Square, you’ll be blissfully worry-free knowing in the back of your mind that your business is running smoothly without you.
  • There’s a fun word in your vocabulary that you may not use as much as you should. “No.” This one is regarding the intense pressures of being a friend, parent, or relative. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to say yes to everything. In fact, you shouldn’t say yes to everything. With that being said, you certainly shouldn’t overdo it. So, while you’re preparing for this holiday season, write the word “no” on three pieces of paper (or just imagine it). Each invitation you receive for a holiday party, or request to volunteer at a school function, or whatever the event may be, it’s important to take your time to think about whether it is a good, worthwhile reason to take off from work. Of course you want to be involved, but you also can’t be totally removed from your job nor can you be in more than one place at one time, so weigh your options. There are some events you’ll be super psyched about and the timing will work out. There may also be school activities that you just can’t miss nor do you want to, so make sure you know what those events are and don’t feel like you need to be a hero saying “yes” to every single invite. Use your “no” cards to keep count!
  • It’s never too early to start preparing. Just as there is no rule saying you can’t finish your work early and reward yourself with personal time off, there is no rule saying you can’t start preparing for the holidays well in advance. To help alleviate some stress during this hectic time of year, start thinking about gifts as early as you’d like. Have you ever been online shopping or walking around the mall, and think, “Wow! That would be a perfect gift for _____!” What’s stopping you from getting it? The more you do early, the less you have to do when the mall is jam packed with people, and the online stores are loaded with back-orders. It’s doubtful that the people you typically buy for won’t have an idea of what they want in their heads at any moment, so ask them! The more people you buy for in months leading up to the holiday season, the more you’ll be able to focus on getting work done, and rewarding yourself with time off.
  • Sources:

    1. 7 Tips to Balance Between Work and Family During the Holidays
    2. How Do You Balance the Holidays and Work?
    3. 4 Ways to Find Work-Life Balance During the Holidays


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