When friends find out you have your own business, they often make comments like “You’re lucky. You can set your own hours.” Or “That’s great – you can take time off whenever you want to.” But although it’s true that your schedule is more flexible than others, it’s not without its challenges, is it?
That’s especially true during the holiday season, when there’s probably a lot more going on in your personal life than the rest of the year. But where most of your friends with regular jobs can plan to do their shopping, baking, socializing and other activities around their work schedule, it’s probably more challenging for you.
For one thing, many people don’t realize they need a professional organizer until it gets down to the crunch. Perhaps they’ve realized they need to declutter before entertaining guests, or maybe they need to clear out the old toys from their kids’ bedrooms and/or playroom before Santa drops another bagful down the chimney.
It’s very hard to say “no” to these clients. After all, you started this business because you sincerely love to help people get organized. And let’s face it, it’s hard to turn away potential income at any time, but especially when you know there will be days you’re not working, and your own expenses are probably higher than usual right now. But how can you meet the organizing needs of your clients and the financial needs of your family and your business, and still have time for your own holiday activities?
Why not apply the same strategies you teach your clients all year round?
- Assess your priorities. Are there things you do simply because they’re tradition, or because someone else expects you to do them? Can any of them be eliminated?
- Delegate. If certain tasks are necessary to your holiday celebrations, do you have to be the one to do them? Can your spouse or children help? Can you buy a dessert instead of making your own?
- Establish a schedule. If you need time off for holiday preparations, special events, or even just to relax and enjoy your family, make it happen. Whether you close down your business for a week or two, or simply reduce the number of clients hours you’ll book, make a plan, and stick to it.
If these last few days before Christmas find you scrambling about and longing for the days when you had a fixed schedule, it may be too late to get out of the commitments you’ve already made, but you do have the power to say “no” to anything else that comes up. Your clients will respect you for practicing what you preach!
How do you handle the holidays in your business?