It's December, and this last month is always the busiest. As the song goes, it's the most wonderful time of the year. There are places to go, people to see -- parties, shopping expeditions, get-togethers, and vacation trips, among other things. This is why it's also the time when work becomes a challenge. There's only so much that your holiday schedule can take, but you don't want to leave any stone left unturned at the end the year. Whether you're a freelancer or a business owner, it's the season when you're busy wrapping things up – in work with your year-end tasks, and in life with presents, gift baskets, and other cheerful stuff. Here's how to stay on top of your game amidst the holiday rush.
Plan ahead. Ideally, you should have started your holiday preparations months ago, but if you haven't done anything at this point, don't fret. There's still enough time for you to do so. Figure out what you have to do, and assign pockets of your time to work on your projects in advance. Go for extra hours of work now if you have to so you'll be able to have extra hours of fun near the end of the month.
Find the balance. By all means, get caught up in all the joy happening around you, but don't forget about the things you have to do either. Hunker down and focus, and you'll get to the finish line quickly. Try to be as efficient as you can be during the day so you can party at night. Or, if you have holiday-related things to do in the daytime, you can save your work for the evening.
Relish your flexibility. If you're one of the lucky people who have the luxury of being able to set your own schedule, make the most out of it! Do your holiday shopping on weekday mornings or afternoons when a lot of people are stuck in the office. Then do your work on weekends when every place is crowded and everyone's doing their holiday errands.
Prioritize. Get to the important stuff first, and then come back to the small tasks later. You'll be able to free up a huge chunk of your time by doing this, and tying up loose ends for the year will be so much more manageable.
Check things off. Make a list and check it twice. Are there still any open projects? Do you have any pending tasks? Are your financials in order? Is your inbox under control? What needs to be shelved until January?
Don't worry. The great thing about freelancing or managing your own business is that you can deal with any issues that may arise without being in an office. You can even take your work with you on vacation, just so you don't have to worry about things while you're away, and you're prepared for anything unexpected that might happen too. Just remember that your work is only with you for emergency purposes and not because you will be working throughout your trip. And, make sure you have everything in order -- with contingency plans in place -- before you leave.
Take a break. 'Tis the season to be jolly! The best thing about the holidays is getting to slow down, relax, and enjoy your time with friends and family. Stop thinking about work and other concerns for a few days. You worked hard all year – you deserve to treat yourself!
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