How to Survive the Holidays
We’re coming up to holiday season. The time of year when children will be off school for several weeks over the Summer. You still need to work but you also want to spend time with the family.
How can you survive the holidays while you’re juggling childcare and keeping work and your business going and enjoy some time off with the children?
If you’ve booked your annual leave and you’re going away, you know you’ll have set ‘holiday’ time with them. Decide how much time you have available and what you want to do with it.
With a full time job and work commitments, it’s not practical or feasible to take the whole of the Summer school break off. You need to come up with a balance that works for you and for your children.
If you and your partner need to work, organise childcare for a few hours with friends and family if you can. Perhaps you can then do the same for them in return.
Older children may be able to look after themselves or go off and play with friends. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan quality time with them. Book off a day a week when you can all be together, have some fun and leave work behind.
Start by deciding what you need to do over the next few weeks and when you’re doing to do it. Just because you have less time available for work, doesn’t mean your productivity and what you can achieve, needs to drop. Stay focused and select only the important, high value tasks when time is limited.
A few focused hours is a far more effective use of your time than trying to juggle work around family commitments, spending a whole day being distracted and ending up feeling guilty and overwhelmed.
Your clients, customers and providers are likely to take time off so there’s no reason why you aren’t expected to be unavailable for a couple of weeks.
Plan accordingly. Give advanced warning and notice of when you’re available, when you’re away and what date they will need to get work or information to you before you go. Be clear about how much work you can realistically complete before you go and what will be done when you return.
Set their expectations upfront and you can avoid or push back any last minute demands. The more you give in or take on, the more pressure you put yourself under, the longer hours you’ll end up working and the more stressed you’ll be, especially if you’re trying to get everything finished before you go. What’s the minimum you need to do to keep things moving forward or ticking over?
Prioritise – select the ‘most important’ tasks you need to work on. You’ll be surprised at the results you can get when you focus on the right things. Fit only a realistic amount of work in to the time you have available. Set time limits on tasks – you’ll get things done quicker and be less distracted.
Even if you can be flexible with your working hours, there’s little point in trying to squeeze in a full working day by starting early and working late, in an attempt to spend time with the family during the day. It might work for a couple of days but you’ll end up worn out and even more stressed.
DO NOT TAKE YOUR COMPUTER, TABLET OR SMARTPHONE ON HOLIDAY (at least not with the intention of working)! Create a clear boundary between your work and holiday time.
If you feel you can’t avoid working while on holiday – what needs to change to prevent this happening next time around?
Limit any ‘work’ time to only an hour or two – checking emails if necessary (or find out how to clear a holiday email backlog).
Create systems and processes to simplify and organise your workload. Are there any areas you need to change? How could you improve your delegating skills so you can enjoy a work and stress-free holiday?
If you’d like to enjoy a relaxed and stress-free holiday, book up a free Strategy Session and I’ll show you how.