16th December 2019

3 Tips For Switching Off and Enjoying Christmas When You’re Self-Employed

The New Year, new you notion is fast approaching and with it, goals of stepping into 2020 refreshed, energised and reinvigorated are hot on our heels. The irony is, however, that to reach that point of successful hustle and drive, first of all, we’ve got to take a step back and take time to enjoy the Christmas break ahead of us. 

We know that when you’re running your own business, that’s not the easiest transition to make. 

We also know how stressful and busy the festive period can be and trying to squeeze in your workload on top of that means it won’t be long before you’re entering 2020 with the wrong kind of bang – burnout. 

With that in mind, we’ve put together a few tips to help you to sit back, relax and switch off your work worries this Christmas. 

Get the important tasks out of the way

At this point, you’ve got about a week before most offices close for the Christmas period. That leaves you in good time to spend the next few days getting your ducks in a row, checking in with and ticking off your most important tasks so that when you leave for Christmas, you don’t have outstanding issues hanging over you. 

If your work involves client work and you’re worried that the Christmas break will interfere with deadlines, be honest with your clients. Before assuming the worst and cancelling Christmas for yourself, have a clear discussion with them around project updates and deadlines. Part of the joy of taking time off around Christmas is that most other people are doing the same which means your client likely won’t look at your work until January anyway. 

Remove all work-related distractions

Once the day finally comes where you’re clocking out for Christmas, closing the laptop and walking out of the (figurative or literal) office, the goal is to keep the door firmly shut on all work-related distractions or temptations until you return in the New Year. To do so you’ll need to ensure you can intercept as many of these distractions as much as you can ahead of time, starting with your out of office. Send a test email to ensure it’s clear and that it’s functioning properly. 

Next up is social media. If clients or business queries come through to you via social media, you may want to include a version of an out of office either by pinning it to your feed or mentioning it your profile bio. 

Once you’ve clearly communicated your temporary absence, take your removal of holiday distractions a step further by deleting work-related apps from your phone for the duration of your break. This should hopefully eliminate any lurking temptations to check in on work while you’re spending time off. Turn off the notifications. Hide your laptop or tablet. Do what you’ve got to do to get a little peace and headspace this Christmas. 

Ditch the guilt

Ultimately the hardest part of taking time off from your business is the guilt. The biggest obstacle to enjoying your time off is you. It’s great to have a strong work ethic but the balance to reaching success within your business also includes taking time to rest, hang out with your friends and reconnect with family. 

Chances are, you will still think about work. Ideas and thoughts will bubble up and that’s fine. But try not to listen to that voice in your head telling you to power through until the end of December and get ahead on your work. Take advantage of the fact that Christmas is the one time of the year that you can step back, properly down tools and switch off from your work. 

On that note, happy Christmas, everyone. Be kind and patient with yourselves.