I ate my first mince pie yesterday. It’s not even December and I’m already chowing down the Christmas goodies! It did get me in the mood though, and it got me thinking about how busy it gets for business owners around Christmas.
All the parties and social obligations, the final push to get things done before the end of the year, the campaigns, the events, the promotions, the Nativity plays, the Christmas cards…! An endless list of things to do!
Ultra-efficiency being a hobby of mine, over the years I’ve accrued some tips and hints to make this time of year a little less frantic. If you’re over worked and feeling stressed take comfort that you a not alone and read on for some easy actions that will make everything OK!
N.B. Because we business owners rarely distinguish between home and work, these top tips cover both personal and business challenges at Christmas.
Write a list
It’s an oldie but a goodie. Any time the pressure is on, lists are the first thing I reach for. How about you? When I have a clear idea of everything I need to do, I stop worrying I’ve forgotten something and just get on with. It’s a cathartic process and marks the start of organisation!
I’ve no doubt you delegate at work (you’re reading the blog of a virtual PA after all!), but do you delegate at home? It’s easy to forget friends, family and children are often eager to participate in the Christmas build up. Can your kids write the envelopes for the Christmas cards? Can your teenager design the e-card? Or take a family Vine to circulate? At work, what can your virtual assistant do for you right now? Call us up for a chat if you’d like to discuss how we might be able to provide a little extra support at this time of year.
Manchester’s Christmas markets and London’s Oxford Street lights are a wonder to behold…but the crowds are not. Studies show shopping at Christmas is one of the most stressful situations we can put ourselves in.
How to hack it? Head to the net. Almost all stores have an online presence and many offer free delivery and/or returns. John Lewis and Not On The Highstreet are great for all the family. Etsy offers some wonderful and unique gifts while kids stores abound.
Personal shopping hack
If you prefer to shop in person, use the web to identify items you’re keen on and then call the store. Ask them to put aside the items you’re interested in, and then choose a quiet time of day to head down to the store. Your items will be waiting for you, ready for you to take your pick – this is a bit like personal shopping, but for other people!
Extra top tip – 2-3pm is typically the quietest time to hit the shops. If you feel guilty taking an hour in the afternoon to go shopping, remember how much time you will save and stress you will avoid. It’s worth it!
Christmas event invitations are coming in thick and fast, but we don’t have to attend all of them. Select those that will be the most enjoyable and/or further your business the most. I tend to mix up evening and lunch time events. What do you do? And how do you turn an invitation down?
If you’re feeling the pressure this Christmas, we’re here to help. Many clients are surprised how quickly activities can be delegated. The Mi PA team are a bunch of smart cookies – we really do hit the floor running. Give us a call any time to discuss your Christmas VPA requirements.
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