Finding the right family-work balance during the holiday season is no easy task for most small business owners. Between ensuring clients get the best possible services, managing production, and finding time to enjoy your family, the holidays can be tough. It shouldn’t be that way. It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year!
Luckily, there are things you can do to lighten your load and make life a little easier. Cheer up and get immersed in the holiday spirit! We bring you a small holiday present: simply check out our top tips on how to achieve a family-work balance this holiday season, and take a load off your shoulders!
25 Family-work Balance Tips for the Holiday Season
1. Define what “work-life balance” looks like for you and your family
“Family-work balance” is not the same for everyone. For you, it might mean that at 5 p.m., your cell phone is off, and you’re focused on your family. For others, it might mean being disconnected only on December 25th. It’s up to you to decide what works best for you, your business, and your family. Don’t take this decision by yourself. Ask your family members how much time they would like to spend with you this holiday season and what activities they would like to do together.
2. Ask yourself why it’s important
This might seem obvious, but it can be helpful and motivating to define why you want to have a family-work balance. Writing it down and displaying it in your space can remind you to prioritize the most important things.
3. Find a good organization system
Everyone’s brain works a little differently, so finding a good organization system can be a process of trial and error. Maybe you like to use a physical appointment book, or maybe you prefer your phone calendar. Whatever you prefer, find a system that helps keep your brain clear and organized: it can be a lifesaver during the holiday season.
4. Plan your day ahead
Don’t go into a day without knowing what’s in store. As much as possible, plan out what your day will look like: what your priorities are, what tasks you’ll accomplish, and when you hope to be done.
These time-management tips will help you.
5. Put some boundaries in place
Don’t be afraid to say no to extra work if you think it will mean sacrificing some valuable time with your family. Discuss with your customers and associates ahead of time what you expect this holiday season and how much workload you are willing to accept.
6. Reach out for help
Remember that you don’t have to handle all your responsibilities alone. Delegate tasks to employees and reach out to family members. Turn to babysitters or housekeepers if you need extra help at home. You can even ask your neighbors for some extra help: the holiday spirit works wonders these days and everybody will be willing to cooperate to make your life easier.
7. Be in charge of your schedule
This time of the year it’s you and only you who is in charge of calling the shots. Simply put, you decide when you will be available and when you won’t be. Be realistic about what you can reasonably do at work and with your family.
8. Automate as much as possible
One of the great things about modern technology is that it provides automation tools. These tools perform time-consuming tasks like billing and invoicing, freeing business owners and employees up to focus on more important things.
9. Outsource what you can
As businesses grow, it becomes impossible to run them alone. This is specially true during the holiday season. Wherever possible, outsource tasks to third-party professionals, like an accountant. This will free you up to focus on the essentials.
10. Set easily visible goals
It’s important to go into each day during the holiday season with a clear picture of what you will achieve. Outline your goals clearly. Your goals should always be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, and Relevant.
11. Reach out to other small business owners
Networking is a crucial part of owning a business. If you keep in touch with other small business owners, don’t be afraid to ask them about the resources they use to keep a healthy family-work balance. They will likely have a number of useful tips from their own experience.
12. Learn how to prioritize tasks
The bottom line is that you can’t get everything done in one day — or even one week, especially during the holiday season. Trying to do so is a practice in getting overwhelmed. Focus on the most important goals and give them your whole attention.
13. Try to be hyper-focused on one task at a time
One of the best ways to get tasks done quickly is to learn how to focus your entire attention on one thing at a time. This is an extremely effective way to work quickly and efficiently. Multitasking, on the other hand, can be disastrous.
14. Get rid of time-wasting tasks
When you prioritize your task list, look at the tasks that are eating up your time. If possible, delegate tasks like these to other employees or use the automation software we mentioned above. That will free you up to focus on your family.
15. Work in time blocks
An extremely effective way of getting tasks done is to work in time blocks. These are usually blocks of 25 minutes. Alternating focused work with short breaks will help you make the most of your time.
16. Take advantage of technology
These days, the sheer amount of technology available is amazing, and its value can be priceless during the holiday season. You can use technological tools to do everything, from organizing your calendar to sending out emails. This helps streamline tasks so you can focus on other things.
17. Use technological timesavers
Even websites are full of technological timesavers that take the burden off of small business owners. Blogs and social media sites, for example, have functions to schedule posts to go out at a certain time. It’s easy to automate these kinds of tasks to free up your own focus.
18. Tackle the hardest tasks as priorities
When you prioritize tasks, decide which ones you want to tackle first. The hardest and most time-consuming should be on top of your list, especially if, like most business owners, you are a morning person. After that, your day will be free and easy.
19. Make sure your employees know what’s on their to-do list
Delegation is important, but it’s not helpful unless everyone knows what part they need to play. Making sure everyone is on the same page means that there will be no miscommunication and higher efficiency.
20. Learn that you can’t say “yes” to everything
One of the simple facts of owning a small business is that you have to learn to say “no.” Failing to do so means overbooking yourself and setting unrealistic goals. These are the last things you want for the holiday season. Saying “no” is a vital part of achieving a good family-work balance.
21. Turn to freelancers
Sometimes, delegation to your employees just isn’t enough. After all, they want to enjoy their holidays too! Consider hiring freelancers to perform tasks like data entry and other similar duties under tight deadlines. Just a piece of advice: try to plan the hiring process weeks in advance. Once we are immersed in the holiday season, things can be hectic.
Learn here how to hire help during the holidays
22. Keep your workspace and personal life separate
Often, achieving a healthy work-life balance comes down to one simple trick: being organized. We are talking not only about organizing your tasks and plans, but also your physical space. If you work from home, try to keep separate your office space and the space you share with your family.
23. Delegate certain tasks to specific times of the day
Certain tasks seem to eat up a lot of time, especially if you push them off for later. Designate tasks like clearing your inbox to first thing in the morning as a matter of habit.
24. Use one calendar for all your to-dos
It’s important to have your day, your week or even your week mapped out in one place, so you can keep it all straight. Don’t try to put work tasks in one place and home tasks in another, or it will quickly become messy.
25. Don’t overschedule
Prioritizing, delegating, and organizing go a long way, but they have to tie in with making realistic goals and sticking to them. Otherwise, you will become overscheduled and overwhelmed. After all, one of your priorities this holiday season should be to rest and enjoy a well-deserved break. Recharge your batteries for the upcoming year!
Achieving a healthy family-work balance can seem daunting, especially during the holiday season. But with the right tools at hand, you’ll roll into the New Year feeling refreshed as well as on top of things.
At Camino Financial, our motto is, “No business left behind.” Our goal is to help small business owners thrive professionally but also personally. Striking the right family-work balance is key to business success as well as personal fulfillment. After all, entrepreneurs value their business, but they value their families more!
A happy holiday season to all our readers!
Keep reading: 5 Work-Life Balance Tips