Do the holidays send you off into overwhelm and then procrastination? You get a bad attitude, beat yourself up, and then don’t enjoy the season because it becomes about the *what you should have done and wish you had done*, and not what you accomplished.
It’s possibly the most hectic time, because we not only need to be creating art, marketing, and stay on top of the paperwork, but we also have family gatherings, holiday shopping, parties to attend and more! Some of us even have other jobs!
Whew…looks like we need to get some clarity and systems in place so we can get productive and take advantage of the profits to be made this holiday season.
If you do this now, before the ball starts rolling you’ll enjoy the time much more, I promise!
5 Steps to Minimizing Holiday Overwhelm and Avoiding that Yuck Factor (procrastination):
Get clear about your available time in the next 82 days. Take out a calendar and put in all known events that are happening between now and the end of the year that you are aware of (shows, parties, must-attend happenings, etc).
Don’t forget days at the salon getting pretty and other appointments you might not normally have as well. Cross off the actual holidays, days you need to rest and rejuvenate, travel days, days you are out of town, etc.
Now take a moment and count up the available days you have overall and then the days before each upcoming holiday (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas).
Make a list of all your big goals you want to get done between now and then. Goals are items that take longer than 4 hours and are significant.
- make 45 pieces for show Nov 5/6th
- figure out display, pack up for show, unpack from show, pay taxes collected & complete paperwork
- decorate house for Halloween
- take down decorations for Halloween
- decorate house for Christmas
- take down decorations for Christmas
- shop for 12 people for Christmas
- wrap presents, send out cards/photos, etc
- figure out Thanksgiving Dinner and Christmas Dinner menus, shop, cook
Add up the time it will take you to do these tasks. Be realistic and generous.
This is the time you need to decide if you really need to do this task, whether it can be delegated, or whether it’s even attainable.
Now pencil it in on the calendar. Once you commit to it, on paper, there’s a more probable chance you’ll accomplish it.
When I do shows I make sure to mark off travel days, packing days, unpacking and rest days. Then I count and write the count-down days on my calendar. So today says 10, tomorrow says 9, etc days til the event.
I do not include days that I have to do other tasks or cannot work on that goal. Now I have a clearer picture of how much time is actually available and what it’s going to take to get to my goal.
Really be tough on yourself. You are the time gate-keeper. Setting yourself up for unrealistic time availability will only lead to negativity and procrastination. Not to mention that it can cost you money to pay for rushed services or late fees.
This way if you realize you have extra time available you can say yes, when your church asks you to help out at the charity event, or you can say yes to a last-minute invitation to dine with friends. Otherwise, you now have a clear picture of whether it’s a yes, or a “I’m sorry, right now I’m completely booked up. I wish I could. Maybe next time.”
Pencil in on each day, that you have available, what action steps you will take to get closer to accomplishing the goals. Think about how long each action step will take you and only write in what you can realistically do.
A goal is a big picture accomplishment. You should have no more than 3-4 a month.
Action steps are broken-down-bite-size steps that are easy to do, schedule in and get you closer to that goal completion. They also give you a sense of accomplishment!
For example if you need to need to work on your display, this is a goal. The action steps might be:
- decide on layout of booth, security, process, accessories needed, lighting, etc
- research out materials that fit my brand and are compliant with show regulations
- find where to get the materials, lead time
- what signage will I have, printing, lead time
- how to package it up to ship or fit in vehicle
- figure out set up
- make list of tools and supplies needed to put up and repair if necessary
- make up price tags, small signs, care cards
- make sure to verify stock of bags, tissue
- design, plan out and order marketing materials with next show date, websites, bounce back special offer
By penciling in the task you are making a commitment to completing that task that day. Do it or it doesn’t get done. It cannot be moved to another day.
Do not allow yourself to “vote” on whether you will do a scheduled task or ask yourself if you “feel” like doing that today. It’s a non-negotiable appointment you have that cannot be rescheduled. You decided in early October that this was a necessary and important task to complete in order for you to have a happier and more profitable holiday. This way you’ll have no regrets and you’ll have a more enjoyable holiday season!
Keep tasks small and doable. Even if you do it in 30-45 minutes of batched time segments. You’ll be that much closer to your goal completion.
Celebrate every day victories in getting closer to accomplishing your holiday goals! The key is to get clear, edit, commit and stick to your guns!