Six steps to get yourself business ready for the Christmas break

By Sarah Stowe | 02 Dec 2015 View comments

Did you know there are 22 more sleeps to Christmas? That means 21 more days. Please don’t shoot the messenger… I share this as an act of love. Because now is a really good time to think about those 21 days and what you need and want to get done.

It’s very easy to get overwhelmed this time of year as social obligations heat up and your to do list gets over-run with all the things that need to be done before you go on holiday.

My usual strategy for coping with the lead up to Christmas is to stick a finger in each ear and sing.

Denial all the way. Until it’s absolutely unavoidable to acknowledge the year is almost done. It’s not helpful. So this year I am starting my planning now. No more last minute rushing to get everything done. 

I asked some organised friends for some input and compiled the top tips for making it through the final rush to Christmas with your sanity in tack.

1. Let ‘em all know

Get on the front foot and let colleagues and franchisees or suppliers know when you’re off for the break. Giving them plenty of warning of when you will be out and your deadline for actioning anything they need. This manages everyone’s expectations and stops last minute stuff being flung at you.

2. Prioritise

We must catch up before Christmas, this must be done before Christmas…. This time of year seems to set a flurry of urgent deadlines before Christmas. Sometimes it’s a legitimate deadline, other times it’s not really necessary it’s done before Christmas. So prioritise!

Compile all your actions and divide them into must-do, should-do, and could-do. That way your must-do activities get the energy they need, you can tick of some should-do actions and bonus points for any could-do initiatives you make time for.

3. Plan your days

Estimate how long your must-do priorities will take and lock the time in your diary now.  Fill in spaces with could-do activities and leave some room for last minute emergencies. If you don’t have anything pop up last minute your available time can be used for could-do jobs [or festive activities… those chocolate Santa’s are not going to eat themselves].

4. Delegate to others

Some roles heat up in the weeks before Christmas and others start to wind down. If you are overloaded, can you share some of your work with others? On the flip, how about embracing some Christmas spirit and offering help to a swamped colleague if you have the time?

5. Delegate to January

Corporate Australia is a very quiet place in January. So if you are returning to work in the first month of our new year how about delegating to January? Take some of the pressure off and move any remaining could-do items over.

6. Say no

If you can’t do it or you don’t have the brain space or energy for it, then say no.  It’s better to be upfront than take on work you can’t complete. [If your no needs a reset, read this]

Follow some simple organisational tips and here’s to a stress free lead up to Christmas… well we can dream, Christmas miracles do happen!