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Tips for Maintaining a Good Work-Life Balance Around the Holidays

When you have your own business, you're "on" 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It seems like there's always a project that needs to be planned, a client who needs to be called, or a crisis that needs to be resolved. So when the holidays are drawing close, you might be worrying about how to enjoy quality time with your loved ones without it adversely impacting your business. These practical tips can help:

Three street signs saying: work, life, and balance.
  • Prioritize the most important tasks. Inc. recommends making a list of the most important things you want to accomplish each day and making sure they all get done. Anything that's not on the list can be pushed back till tomorrow or the day after.
  • Set boundaries around your time. Instead of constantly being available, limit your working hours so you have more free time. It's advisable to set an autoresponder on your email to assure clients and business partners you'll respond to their messages when you're back in the office.
  • Delegate. If there are important tasks you don't have enough time to complete yourself, determine which of your employees has the skills to take them on and delegate them accordingly. Remember to check in at the end of the day to see if everything went well or if there are any issues you need to address.
  • Work from home. As ZipRecruiter points out, commutes can be much longer during the holiday season due to traffic and bad weather. You can shave hours off your workday simply by telecommuting every now and then, hours that you can spend with your family and friends. Just make sure you have access to the data and tools you need to be productive at home, for example, by using Google Drive or your preferred enterprise software apps.
  • Expect the unexpected. No matter how well you plan ahead, there's always the possibility of an opportunity — or a crisis — coming your way. That's why it's wise to reserve an hour or so a day to deal with this type of event. If nothing comes up, you can use the hour to for your day-to-day responsibilities, but if a pressing matter needs your attention, you'll be able to handle it without it getting in the way of your other plans.
  • Say no. Around the holidays, many of us get inundated with invitations to dinners, parties and other events — both work-related and purely social. To prevent your schedule from becoming overloaded, learn to say no to the less important invitations. That way, you'll have more energy to enjoy the events you do attend.
  • Reserve some time for yourself. Entrepreneur advises that you need to take care of yourself in order to take care of other people like your family and employees. For this reason, it's wise to set aside some time now and then to enjoy an activity that relaxes you, whether that's reading a book, exercising or something else.

When you're used to working long days and most weekends, it's understandable if you find it hard to unplug and relax. Fortunately, the rest of the business world also slows down during the holidays — and that makes this the perfect time for you to relax a little so you can return to the office rested and reenergized.

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