Avoid Holiday Overwhelm – Entrepreneurs and Homeowners

As the Countdown begins to Christmas and 2011 are you feeling the stress and anxiety build in your body?  Are you a Woman Entrepreneur feeling the pressure of your “duties” including shopping, baking, running your business, keeping up with your daily tasks, keep up with the housework, school, all the extra activities, the school holiday schedule and wondering when and where you will fit everything into your day?  Do you have children who are making long lists of things that they want to do while they are on Winter Break and an even longer list of things that they would like to receive from Santa?  And you are nervous about how you are going to manage it all?

You can find balance between business and life by using three simple steps:

1.  Find a quiet place just for yourself without any interruptions.  Allow yourself 30-45 minutes.  (Can’t find the time…make the time.  I would suggest this be done prior to beginning your work day, during a lunch break or after everyone is in bed for the night.

2.  Grab a large notepad and write down everything that you need to do.  This includes shopping, the children’s holiday list, all of the activities and parties that you have planned.  Get detailed about the list.  Incorporate your family and business calendar.   This will seem like a massive “To Do” list but it will help clear your mind from clutter and help you anxiety.   An example of the list might be:

For your business:  Quickbook entries, scheduling appointments, networking, payroll, holiday office party, follow-up phone calls, the daily running of your business that you are already doing.  For your home:   shopping time, decorating, clients, school activities (chorus and holiday programs), etc.  Also include the calling of a babysitter that you may need for any of these events.

It is important to have all of your plans laid out for yourself in advance because surprises will arise – no matter how well things are planned.  You can take charge of your business, holiday, family time, and your own down-time!  And the important thing to remember when something does come up is that you can handle it because you aren’t already stressed out about all of the other activities that you have going on in your daily life. 

3.  Allow others to step in and help you when they offer.  We almost always think that when someone is offering to help us out that they are just being polite.  However, most of the time they are genuine in their offer to assist you with your needs.  If you have someone who can pick up the dry cleaning or offers to help pick up the children from an activity or even do some of your shopping for you, let them help.  Understand, of course, that they may not do everything exactly as you would do it (and be ok with that!) – don’t correct them.  Turning down their offer to assist is an insult…they may not ever offer again!

Avoid overwhelm and anxiety.  By organizing your life and business together for the Holiday season you can enjoy yourself and concentrate on what is important…making memories for your family.

Linda Clevenger