If your life’s anything like mine, the holidays are a wonderful time spent with family and friends, over several nights spread out over several weeks that encroach upon your normal work/family balance. If you’re a freelance worker (like me), it can be even worse – so many people don’t understand what that means. They just know that you don’t have set hours or a “real” office, so you’re probably available all-day, every-day to help out.
Regardless of your employment status, finding balance during the holidays can be tough. Before you start to freak out, consider a few of these sanity-saving tips:
- Mark your calendars. Find out when all of your events are, and put them on your calendars (all of them). Note the busiest times so you can mentally prepare yourself for the chaos.
- Prep ahead. Don’t wait until the day before to wrap presents, buy groceries, or cook your side dishes. Find an open day in your calendar to do all of the prep work – not only can you chop veggies and meat ahead of time, you can actually make and freeze a lot of dishes, so you won’t have to rush on the morning of.
- Freelancers – plan to work. If you regularly keep working hours, then stick to them. If you work whenever you can, it’ll be easy to lose your work time to cooking, cleaning, and shopping. Instead, schedule some work hours on your calendar so you know exactly when you are and aren’t available.
- Say no. If you can normally take on three new clients a month, consider only taking one or two. If you can’t survive without one free day a week, don’t schedule events on every day. It’s okay to say no.
- Get help. Don’t be afraid to ask friends, family, and colleagues for help. It can be as simple as a friend helping you clean your house, or as in-depth as asking a coworker to take over an account.
- Extend grace. You’re not the only busy person during the holidays. If others can’t help or show up late, remember that they’re probably as busy as you are. You can’t control the situation, but you can control your reaction – why not choose grace instead of anger?
Your schedule might be tight, but if you prepare yourself – mentally and physically – you can have a productive season without losing your marbles.
Have a safe and blessed Christmas!