Today’s episode of the podcast is a really short solo episode filled with practical tips on how you can tackle the Christmas period, and take a break from your business..
KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST
● Why you need to be realistic about what you can expect from yourself
● Why how you spend the Christmas break needs to be what suits you
● Why having goals is a game changer in business
THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO REMEMBER ABOVE ALL ELSE
My top tips for taking time off over the Christmas period!
HIGHLIGHTS YOU SIMPLY CAN'T MISS
● Practical ways you can prepare clients and customers for you taking a break
● Things to think about when you come back in the New Year
Hello and welcome to this week's episode of the podcast. I hope you are doing well. So we're starting the run up to Christmas and the end of the year, and this is always a really busy, busy time for people in my world and for me and business owners and parents and everyone in general, it just is a time where you're tired because we've had a full on year and the kids are ready to break up and there's always some serious organization to go on, like presence and planning and getting together and all that sort of stuff.
So it's a crazy time of the year, a really, really busy one. Also, if you're like me, you look at your financial year from January to December. So you know, December is kind of the last month that you can earn money in that financial year, which again, can have a huge impact.
So how do you navigate and manage this time of the year? I wanted to come on and do a really sort of quick, practical episode about how you can take a break over the Christmas period or how you can tackle that Christmas period. So the first thing that I would suggest to do also, if you can hear the dogs, I have two dogs around me who no doubt will move and make a noise on this podcast, so I apologize.
The first thing you need to do is decide on what you wanna do. So have a look at your diary. Have a look at it against school breaks or whatever, different events. Make sure you've got that planned into your work diary. Now my diary and personal diary both show up on the same thing, so I know like where I've got personal stuff and where I've got business stuff and it all gets chopped on the same calendar, which means there are a million different colors going on in my calendar and so many different things.
But first thing to do is actually look what you've got going on. So I want you to be really realistic about what you can expect from yourself. Cuz you might have made some really cool plans for December. And actually when it comes to it, you just don't have the time. So be realistic and decide what time you wanna take off.
So do you wanna take off over the Christmas period? Do you wanna take two weeks off? Do you wanna take a week off? How do you want that to look? And then the next thing I would say to do, especially if you have clients or people who will rely on you in some way is communicate that to them. So I will say to the club that for the following two weeks, when you know I'm gonna take two weeks off, I am on holiday and you know I will see you in January, have an amazing time.
And we have a Christmas party the a few days before I finish. So that's our kind of hooray! Happy Christmas! We're going away. But if you've got clients, email them and say, just want to make you aware of the hours that I will be available. Don't be nervous about doing that. Don't be scared about being really direct with them.
In my experience, I find that clients only have an issue when they're not communicated to or when their expectation is different to what you deliver. So if you are really upfront with them and straight off the bat you say to them, this is what I'm taking off, this is when I'm available, this is when I will need your thing by if you want me to do anything before the Christmas break and be realistic about that.
Again, don't say, you know, I'm gonna break up on the Friday, so last request by the Thursday. You know, your last request should be kind of Tuesday, and then you've got a couple of days to do it before you finish on the Friday. The other thing I do is, I am more than happy to spend time in my business when no one knows I'm in my business.
Actually, I love it. I love nothing more than working away quietly when everyone thinks I'm off, which is why I quite like doing weekend stuff. So, there's no reason why you can't use some of this time to actually work on the business when no one is expecting anything from you. No one is wanting something from you, but also don't feel like you've got to, don't feel like you've gotta put yourself in a position.
Do you know I do this all the time. I don't want anybody else. In fact, I want you to DM me or like past, send something to me. I want you to tell me whether you do this. I put back things that I wanna get done in the business until Christmas and go, I'll do this over Christmas and New Year. I'll do this over Christmas and New Year. Oh, I'm gonna do this over Christmas and New Year.
And I think to myself, how many months do I think Christmas and New Year is? And also forgetting that, yes, I'm on holiday, or I'm away from the business. That period, but actually huge chunks of that period is taken up by Christmas activities. And actually, I'm one of these people that we've got, you know, grown up stepchildren and my daughter shares Christmas with her dad, so I don't have the whole of Christmas.
So for me, I'm actually one these people who doesn't do a huge amount for Christmas. If you guys have got children who are with you and family that are with you over the whole period, you've gotta be really realistic. And what I want you to think about as well, and you might go in a, you know, in my dreams, Teresa, but I want you to think about what time can you take off for you.
And I don't mean you're gonna take the time off when the children are broken up, or I want you to think about can you actually take some time off for you? So it might be that you take some time off for you before they break up or after they've gone back to school. They normally go back to school pretty swiftly if you've got children or when the family have gone home or when things have quietened down.
So when can you take some time when you're not doing anything on the business, you're not doing anything for other people, and you can just have a breather and do whatever makes you happy, go for a walk. Not for me, that wouldn't make me happy. I'mma like, “No. Yeah, maybe”. It's not for me really. Mine is go for a massage and that's my do something for me.
But think about during that time, cuz again, the temptation is to cram so much stuff in and then go, oh, and I'll do all this work and then, oh, I'm gonna spend time with these people and see these people. And actually you come out of Christmas into the new year feeling more exhausted than when you went in.
So when are you gonna take some time off and sit and watch Netflix all day or you know, go and have a massage or whatever it might be. So have a think about where you're gonna plan that time in. The other thing I want to think about is, do you want to make sure you've planned in some time for next year?
Now, I am a as you know, cuz if you listen to this podcast, you know, I'm gonna go on about this again. And I was about to say, you have to now you don't have to do anything, but I strongly recommend that you set goals, whether you think they are pointless, unrealistic, whatever. Having goals honestly is a game changer in business and that's why this time I did the goal set in day and I've done it, it's already happened now by the time this episode goes out, but, and I might think about doing something in January for those of you who didn't get that or want to do it because it's so, so very important that you do that. That you plan what you want to happen next year, how you wanna work, who you like working with, what you wanna earn, how you wanna spend your time.
So I want you to think about that and have you done that? So is that something you can do over Christmas? Is that something that you are gonna plan in for you know, beginning of next year, but really we don't wanna be going into a new year without having an idea of A, how this year went and B, what we wanna do next year.
And then my last one is ease yourself back in. So, I don't want you saying to your clients, okay, I'm back on Tuesday the third. Is it 3rd of January, I think. And basically, Have it that from day one it's like boom, you straight back in. I'm nice going through my diary. Yes tuesday the third, unless you're in Scotland and then you get bank all day, but, and I think the children probably go back to school in the UK anywhere around the fourth I think.
I don't really know if I'm honest, but like I don't want you just throw yourself back in. So for me, I wouldn't have any meetings that first week, like the week of the second, that first week of January. I'd have no meetings and I would schedule any meetings I have for the next week. Just because it's, uh, you know, for me, I want to get back into the flow of things.
You gotta remember who you are, what you do, replan, put some new things into place if you've started some new goals. So I think don't try and rush back and do it all at once. Try and have that break. And like I said, if you weren't able to have that time for you, prior to Christmas and over Christmas, because understandably, it's a very busy time of year.
Then maybe that's the time to have that time for you. So maybe that first Wednesday of that week, Wednesday the fourth, maybe you take that day off to go and sit in a coffee shop and read a book or get yourself a massage or whatever it might be. So those are my kind of tips in terms of getting ready to take that break over the holiday period.
Let me know what you do. Let me know if there's anything I've missed that you think, oh, that would be good if I normally do this, and that works well, and then let me know how you get on. I'm really interested to see how many of you take time off over the Christmas break. Now I wasn't ever that good at it, and I am much better at it now even though I haven't got the children.
And even though, well I have got the children at some points, but even though I haven't got young children, have more time. And even though, you know, like when I do say I'm broken up, it just means I've broken up to the outside world. So I am more than happy to do stuff. You know, for me during that time period.
But let me know how you get on. Let me know. I really hope you're gonna take a good break and enjoy that festive period. Okay? They go, I told you that it would be a short and sweet episode. Let me know what you think and I will see you next week for an interview.