I have been reading that Christmas can be more stressful than a divorce! Add to this the additional pressures, worries and concerns you have as a business owner and I’m surprised we don’t all implode!

 

What does December look like in your business?

• Is it a quiet time when you can reflect on the past 12 months and plan for the coming year?

• Will you be pulling your hair out trying to finish those outstanding projects and tasks?

• Are you an online retailer that will be working right up to the wire with the Elves?

 

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Are you a worrier?

I know for me it’s the worrying about simply forgetting to do something for and in my business and for Christmas itself. I have mentioned in blogs before I am a huge fan of list writing and use ToDoIst.com which is an excellent piece of software and with the app on my phone, I can add tasks on the go when they pop into my head. I have folders for home, personal, the kids, the business and my clients. This certainly helps to keep my stress levels down and focused on what needs doing and when.

Each day I look for a task that I have been putting off, for whatever reason and tackle it first. It’s never as bad as I thought or as difficult – which is a practice that works. I also check my to-do list, moving tasks that can be rescheduled so I create time for those that have to be done today, this is especially important to ensure I am not faced with a list as long as your arm when I sit down to start work.

 

Why I love lists

Lists are great but if you just keep adding to them and never finish anything you will become despondent, stressed, worried – and overwhelmed! These feelings can hit you anytime during a day, and when they do I stop to take a few deep breaths, tidy my physical desk and check what needs doing to reprioritise if necessary. This helps to keep the anxiety at bay – something us business owners, especially sole traders can easily feel!

December is a wind down month from my client perspective so I use the time to catch up, tidy my electronic desktop, update databases and get ready for January. There is much planned for LBB in the new year, and I will use the time to prepare so I can switch off over the Christmas period. Don’t get me wrong, I will be still checking my emails but not on Christmas or Boxing Day!


Be kind to yourself

Don’t pile the work on, be smart about what must be done and those tasks and activities that can be left until the new year. Keep focused on the important and don’t get distracted – if it helps turn off your email and social media notifications! Create the space and time you need to get through the month with the least amount of stress.

 

Why not tweet @BrownBurden your top tips for a stress less Christmas – I would love to hear from you.