Is that a scary and almost leading statement? Getting ready for the holidays – what does that even mean this year?
We have just lived through 2020. Given that “2020” is essentially now a term like being able to “google” something, it’s a hard year to review.
However, preparing for the holidays, especially this year, is the best way to review the past year (keep that hazmat suit on) and plan for the new year.
So, what does that look like? And do we need to look back before we look forward?
Reviewing your year in business terms
Do we need to look back before we look forward? In short, yes.
Look back over your year and assess the ups and downs. This is an important first step to get organised before planning for the holidays and the following year.
So, don’t be afraid, jump in and review your business over the past year.
Reviewing your business year allows you to:
- Reflect on your wins, and your shortcomings
- Identify ways you have evolved both personally and in terms of your business model
- Acknowledge what went well, and what didn’t
- Qualify and quantify your overall success (bear in mind “success” looks different to everyone)
- Put your experiences into perspective, then ‘put the year to bed’, and start the new year afresh
Oh, and whether you keep the review private or not is up to you.
Once you have reviewed your year, time to move on to getting ready for the holidays so you can glide into the festive period without a drop of stress sweat on your brow…..
Getting organised and preventing “holiday overwhelm”
Well, yesterday I wrote my Christmas cards! It’s a small from-me-to-you moment of thought and acknowledgment about who has been with me this year.
It’s also a personal, low cost, intentional piece of connection.
So I am well and truly on the getting-ready-for-the-holidays-treadmill!
I also have a newsletter in the works about when my business will be closed over the Christmas period. I think it’s necessary for our colleagues, teams, and, importantly, our clients to know, with notice, when we are planning to down tools for the year. I’m planning to send it out with about a month’s notice so there is ample time for them (and me) to be end-of-year ready to shut down. I figure a month is entirely fair.
In addition to the newsletter, once it is distributed, I will be updating my email signature with that info listed in it so it’s in easy reach aaaaaand it reminds our clients between then and now of the closure dates. Easily found and front of mind so there are no surprises.
How else do I plan for the holidays at work? Well, I like to consider:
- Invoicing expectations (payroll if you have employees)
- Holiday voicemail or message taking service provider (ask me and I can give you some contacts to check out)
- Regular orders and deliveries – will they be detained or put on hold?
- Christmas party shenanigans planned? Only the responsible ones
Bonus tips for staying focused – and how to find time for fun!
Now there are a few other things I personally do in preparation for the year-end and as you’d expect, its admin focused.
Clean my desk: I clean off as much of my desk as possible to enable a clear mindset on my arrival AND it’s easier to clean the desk when it’s clear.
Simple but really effective for new year planning. How great is it when you walk into your space and it’s fresh, aired, non-dusty, and ready to go… just imagine all jobs in your in-tray/to-do list wrapped up, finished, and put away!
Email archiving: I archive emails so next year there is loads of space and I’m basically “starting new” in my electronic files. I also make sure all paperwork has a forever home (aka actual filing if it’s a hard copy) OR if it can’t be sent to the farm, I mean forever home, then I note it where it is up to, what’s left to complete and ETA so when I come back from leave I can hit the ground running.
Business planning: Now that I am a business owner, I also do company planning. Goals, plans, notes to remind me of what I want to do and achieve in the coming year. I also make a note of people I may want to re-connect with, ideas I want to build out, and details of where I want to start that first week/month back on deck. This simple step leaves me feeling so much calmer when I go off to enjoy the holidays.
Fun planning: Now, for me, the fun part. My planner. I get so excited to grab a brand new one with clean pages for me to use and fill up for the next year.
I put in public holidays – including local and national ones because I work with people interstate – important family dates (seriously, who has forgotten to organise Mum’s birthday gift and actually lived to tell the miserable tale? No-one! Because you had a reminder and you sorted it out.)
Then to take it further, I block out planning/strategy days and regular client appointments i.e. bookkeeper on the 3rd Thursday of every month, water delivery, subscription/registration renewal reminders.
Now, go enjoy a well-deserved festive break!
There might be other tips you could look for in getting you ready for the holidays but for now, pack up, turn off the overhead lights, lock the door and go enjoy your Christmas.
Be safe, Be kind, and cherish those around you.
Merry Christmas (in advance)
Want to contact INKBLOTVA for help with organising and managing your business? We are here to help.