When I was young, my Dad owned a transport company. I grew up washing truck…
The Christmas Crash and How to Stop It Happening
The first thought that came into my head when I opened my eyes this morning was, “I can’t do this.”
It was 5 am Monday morning, my to-do list was insane and as the Facebook posts of a few of my diehard Christmas fanatic friends keep reminding me, just five more weeks until the big event.
For most businesses, the Christmas period requires a delicate mix of good planning, hard work and blind faith, and for us this year, that is no exception. In addition to ‘normal business’, we have big plans to use our ‘slow down’ to prepare for a company relaunch in the new year. So it’s all-hands-on-deck, and all systems go!
Now, I already walk that fine line of mixing business with being the mum of two young children and this time of year amps up in that department too. There is the end of year concerts, school events and Christmas parties … So many Christmas parties. Sometimes it all comes together beautifully, but really most of the time it feels a bit like being the passenger in a driverless, out of control car.
I really can’t do this …
As I heaved myself out of bed and pulled on my gym clothes, the thought came back, “I really can’t do this.” If I keep pushing, I’m heading for a huge Christmas crash and truthfully, that would really suck! We work so hard all year so that we can enjoy this time with our family, if I don’t change something now I’m going to end up completely burning out.
Changes needed to be made, and quickly. So back home post-workout, kids at school and I’ve begun to devise a plan to reduce my workload and stress, and increase the quality of time I spend on my business and with my family.
This is my plan so that I’m heading into Christmas fresh and energised:
I’ve spent my whole life believing that I could do, and be anything I put my mind to and that it was weak or negative to believe anything other than that.
But recently I’ve learnt that it’s not just ok, but essential, to be realistic and admit that there are things you just can’t do. There are only so many hours in a day. So many days in a week. You cannot be in two places at the same time. And just admitting that is the first step to letting go.
2. Ask for or seek out and accept help.
Being honest about your limitations and the fact that you are in fact human, makes it a whole lot easier to go out and get some help. Whether that be in the form of asking a friend to pick up your kids or outsourcing where you can, you will feel immediate relief once things have started to be removed from your plate.
3. Learn to say no!
So we’ve discovered we are only human. We’re getting help for the things on that insane list. And now we have to learn how to say “No!”
Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person, or a terrible friend. It doesn’t mean you’ll lose a sale. It means that you are being honest about your limitations and have made the decision to put you, your business and your family, first.
4. Staying active.
On we move now to a bit of self-care. Recently I wrote about how I’d started prioritising exercise and the positive impact that was having on my life, not only as a business owner but in general. And now, more than ever it’s vital to make a start or to keep moving.
5. Planned family time.
Why not make some of that active time, family time as well! After all, that is what this time of year is really all about. Plan your family time so that you don’t miss out because you’re distracted by work, just too busy or plain exhausted.
As Monday is coming to an end, my to-do list looks much the same, insane, but I’m feeling lighter, infinitely less stressed and more confident that this year I will avoid working myself into a Christmas crash.
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