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Without a doubt Christmas is such a busy time on all fronts! From a family point of view there is so much to do in preparation for Christmas – gift buying, card writing, present wrapping, food shopping, school nativities and carol services the list goes on and on. Work is manic too. With a potentially quiet January around the corner you want to make the most of December but the weeks are flying by and the kids will be breaking up from school too! It sure is enough to make your headache! Here are my top tips for avoiding overwhelm in your balloons and venue décor business!:

??1. Do a brain download. Get everything out of your head and down on paper. Everything you need to do! Whether its home life work life or anything that is taking up your neuron space! Getting it out of your head frees up space to think it all through.

??2. Work out what needs doing when. Are there any deadlines you MUST hit. – Remember the difference between important and urgent… Important is the stuff that usually moves your business forward but we tend to demote that and concentrate on what we perceive to be urgent. Make sure you prioritise important too!

??3. What can you delegate? – Work through your list and highlight all the things that need doing that you could delegate. For example Christmas wrapping. Has to be done usually before the kids break up from school unless you want to ruin their belief in Santa and his elves for the rest of their days… Why not enlist help.. Get your Mum, your sister, brother, friends round and have a Christmas wrapping afternoon. Provide some lovely cake and even the odd glass of vino and watch the wrapping speed by. Can you do your food shopping on line and delegate it to the lovely people in Asda or Morrisons? Can you get one of your teenage children help with scheduling your social media – after all they spend the majority of their time on it right? Maybe your partner could write the christmas cards this year! There are so many things you could delegate and you don’t have to do it all yourself!

??4. What can you ditch? – There will be some stuff rattling around your head that you can ditch or reschedule until after the Christmas holidays when you have more time in January. What you can you put on hold until you have more time free. Make sure when you do this though you are honest with what can be rescheduled. You can’t for example reschedule your tax return because, actually you don’t like doing it so quickly shove it on the ditch list! but there will be plenty of stuff you can shelve until January.

??5. Work tasks into your diary. We can all waste so much time if we don’t schedule stuff in. Getting up to a list of what needs doing means you start the day with an action plan and you don’t have to waste precious time working out what you should be doing! Plan your week from when you start to finish work. Break down big tasks in to 10 minute tasks. For example Schedule social media for the week could be broken down into a) Decide what I am going to post b) get images watermarked ready c) write the copy for the posts d) schedule it all in. Having tasks broken down into 10 minute jobs make it seem much less overwhelming and also means when you have 10 minutes waiting to pick the kids up from scouts etc you can quickly get something done and tick another thing of your list.

??6. Get prepared in advance. – You know the kids are going to break up on x date. Life is going to get hectic in the last week of school with nativities and carol concerts and then once they are home you are going to get even less done. Get ahead of yourself. Schedule all you social media over Christmas so you have something going out even if you aren’t present in the moment at that time. You can still jump in and add extra bits as you go but it means that your page won’t look like you deserted it and you will still be attracting work for January. Doing Christmas eve balloons? Get people to pay a deposit and then work out what you can get done well in advance – getting bags ready with weights ribbons, vinyl cut can all be done weeks in advance. Air filled elements can be done a good week in advance if bagged and kept outside in a cold shed (Do not fill with helium and put it out in the shed though as it will definitely go flat!)

??7. Set boundaries – It’s okay to say no! When you are asked to help out at the school Christmas fayre or someone in the family wants you to babysit. Don’t take on extra workload because you feel pressured to do so. Practice saying no gracefully in advance… A simple… ” I would love to but unfortunately I really don’t have the time this year” is all it needs. You don’t have to get into a long rambling reasons why you can’t – it actually is fine to say no! If you take on things you don’t have the energy for not only will you end up exhausted but you will end up resenting the person who asked too. Christmas is about enjoying our time with people so saying No is actually so much better for Christmas cheer.

??8. Put things in perspective! – It doesn’t need to be perfect. It just needs to be a fun and happy time for you and your loved ones. So what if your Sister in law got your Mum a much more fancy present than you , or the Turkey burnt, or You didn’t have time to bake the cakes for the school fayre so you bought them from a shop, or you had a wee too much vino and made a plum of yourself! When it comes to gifts it’s the thought that counts, I am sure everyone still ate way too much over the Christmas period, whilst home backing is great living with less stress is sooo much better and who is going to remember by January what you got up to, and let’s face it people will remember you as someone who knows how to let their hair down so what’s wrong with that. Getting stressed about the little details is a sure way to ruin not only your own Christmas but your loved ones too as they watch you having a meltdown. Go with the flow and laugh about the bits that don’t work out quite as you expected and you will guarantee the best Christmas for you and your loved ones!

??9. Be kind to yourself – You are not super wo/man! So many feel guilty in the run up to Christmas – They feel that they aren’t doing any of it very well – their business – family – It’s so easy to listen to those self-talk fairies in your head. Instead congratulate yourself on everything you are getting done! Running a business and a family is 2 jobs in one so the fact you are keeping your head above water means you are amazing! Don’t forget to tell yourself how awesome you are!

??10. Take time to pause and actually enjoy the festivities. Christmas is a magical time to me. It’s a time to really cherish the time you have with your nearest and dearest. Life has a habit of speeding along on its own and before you know it the little ones have grown up and people are no longer with us. You can’t get that precious time back and you don’t get to remake those memories. Make sure you take time to enjoy the time you have with them and give it your priority when you are.

Do you have any other tips to help avoid overwhelm at Christmas? If so I would love to see them in the comments below!

Until next time! Stay awesome!

Sonia

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