10 Secrets To Survive Christmas While You Run Your Company
Find out how 10 key secrets can save you time, money and your sanity during this busy time of year
You're in business, you're busy - maybe a little overwhelmed. Throw in a big measuring of Christmas, a dash of nasty business habits, time wasters, bad budgets and you have a recipe for disaster. Find out how 10 key secrets can save you time, money and your sanity during this busy time of year. Heck, you might even enjoy Christmas this year. Try this:
1. Nix Bad Personal Habits
Unwanted habits detract from life enjoyment. This includes: abusing our bodies, ignoring family and friends, working too hard. We need to have enough awareness to overcome these habits that cut into both personal and work time. This means less sugary treats, getting more sleep, watching the work hours and so forth.
2. Nix Bad Business Habits
These include not networking properly - not following up properly with people. Bad business habits also include: reinventing the wheel, not being resistant to change, not being open to lifelong learning, not planning properly, berating the competition and more. This can extend to Christmas where you do more networking, find yourself up against the competition, and need to prepare for the upcoming year.
3. Eliminate Time Wasters
Whether you're shopping for gifts, volunteering for an event or completing a project, the only true currency is time. You have to be honest about what gets your attention, time, resources, talents, and life energy. At this time of year, you only have so much time to run your business, grab some presents and attend the parties; be ruthless with your time.
4. Think Like a Child
Remember Christmas when you were a child? Remember the magic, Santa Claus, the decorations, food, presents and relatives? As adults, we get caught up in working overtime, paying bills and obsessing about impending holiday expenses, working indoors and not playing in snow, complaining about how the year has gone, etc. Take some time and add a few childlike things to your day to help you relax and have fun. Some ideas include: bringing hot cocoa to work, exchanging presents with staff, putting up a Christmas tree, having a stupid idea day where everyone anonymously writes down silly ways to make more money, dress like Santa, put on goofy Christmas music, tell jokes, hold contests for silly prizes. Work on making the atmosphere professional but fun. Then, see how you can plan some post Christmas getaways to recapture the fun you had as a kid.
5. Create Time Boundaries
No other time of year do you get more distractions than right before Christmas. More people call on your time, ask for your skills, talents and before you know it, you're exhausted. You need to create time boundaries and walls in general. Decide how to say "no", when people can phone you, meet with you, etc. When you control how your time is used, your life feels calm, cool and relaxed.
6. Brilliant Budgets
Successful businesses plan ahead and have budgetsYou should also do this with Christmas spending. Decide how much you will spend on gift giving but don't forget to consider other incidentals like travel costs, clothing, food, decorations and more. Often, we budget for the obvious but forget about the smaller things and these really add up.
If you want a great Christmas - simplify. Don't fall into the trap of having to be everything to everyone, buy lots of presents and complicate your life by attending every social function on earth. Cut back on things that don't really serve you and stop buying junk. Some ideas for presents include: gift certificates, donating to the needy, buying 'green products,' adopting an animal, donating to wildlife funds, planting a tree, adding to someone's travel fund, cooking meals for students or the elderly, creating certificates that offer chores you'll do for someone - use your imagination. Studies show that people really enjoy having practical gifts and things they wouldn't indulge in for themselves.
8. Good is Great Enough
This comes back to perfection. Whether you're buying gifts for Christmas or creating a project at work, stop obsessing. Dan Kennedy, a master marketer said that 'good is good enough.' I think he has a point; if you do your best at the time, don't obsess about it, move on. Money likes speed and in today's competitive marketplace, the person who's trying to perfect something loses money because the faster person gets the customers and clients. Slow companies are left in the dust.
9. Risk It
Have you ever stood in a store and pondered for 20 minutes over the perfect gift for someone? Most of us have at one point or another; we wanted to impress or make someone feel good and we could not make up our mind on whether our choice was good enough. Much like saying 'good is good enough', sometimes you just have to risk it and buy that gift. Or, in business, take a chance, phone that person who makes you nervous, do some cold calling, speak in front of 500 people - you need to get out of your comfort zone and risk because those who do, get the fruit. Hence the saying, 'Why not go out on a limb, isn't that where the fruit is?
10. Use Your Team
Most successful companies use the best people to achieve their goals. They have a team of experts, a vision and goals and they achieve what needs to be done. The same can be said about your personal team - your friends and family. Can you call on them to help you out? Can you run errands for them? This is a time when people should be working together as a team to fulfill goals. Don't be afraid to ask for help; people are more connected when they help each other.
If you follow these ten steps, you should have a more relaxed and happy holiday season. When this doesn't work, book your ticket to somewhere warm, grab your suitcase and get the heck out of here. Even Santa takes a vacation.
About the Author
Lisa Rickwood, "Small Biz Stress Buster," is a small business coach, visual artist and author of Escape The Pace: 100 Fun And Easy Ways To Slow Down And Enjoy Your Life and co-author of Power & Soul: 42 Successful Entrepreneurs Share their Secrets for Creating the Business and Life of Their Dreams. She helps small business owners 'master stress for professional and personal success.' Get your FREE e-book, 5 Critical Actions That Hurt Your Business and Add Stress to Your Life...and How to Escape Them by visiting:http://www.escapethepace.com