It’s beginning to look a bit like Christmas…..
I don’t know about you but December has snuck up on me this year. Appearing out of nowhere and biting me on the ass. There’s still time to get your festive spirit on and to kick back with your mince pies and mulled wine. Sleigh whaaaaaat? I hear you cry, well let me give you some advice on tackling your admin so you don’t spend Boxing Day sorting out your emails.
It’s not just Father Christmas that makes lists and checks them twice. The best place to start is by writing a list of everything that you need to do before the end of the year. No matter how big or small, how insignificant it might seem – if it’s going to require you to do something it goes on the list.
Then you can start to categorise it, is there anything that can be delegated, automated or any quick wins? Set some deadlines and stick to them. Enjoy ticking everything off and that feeling of satisfaction when you come back to your completed list.
Time for some straight-talking now.
Does everything on your list NEED doing this month?
Do you really have to squeeze in that report that isn’t due until mid-January?
Can updating your social media profiles wait?
A lot of the pressure in December comes from ourselves. The key to enjoying your Christmas break is to prioritise before it. Take time to enjoy yourself, spend time with your family and hit your deadlines. You don’t want to get to your time off and be too tired and run down to enjoy it. There will be some work that’s non-negotiable and has to be done but other tasks on your list can wait until the New Year.
If you send out emails at specific times of the month i.e. client updates. Can you schedule them? Prep them in advance and set the time and date they’ll send. It removes the need to go into your inbox so you won’t get distracted by your unread emails.
It’s not just emails that you can schedule!
I’m all for any software or system that can save you time, and invoicing platforms are worth their weight in gold, or myrrh. There are a wide variety out there. You’ve probably heard of Xero, Quick Books, FreeAgent etc, they come with a small monthly fee but it’s worth it! The great thing about using one of these is that you can auto-schedule your invoices to go out on a set date. Saving you time, stress and taking, what can be a tedious job away from you.
You could also schedule some social media posts to get you through the busy period. Scheduling is a great way to make sure you’re still showing up but stops you mindlessly scrolling the hours away!
Get some help!
Father Christmas has a troupe of elves helping him with all his Christmas prep and there are times that you need to take inspiration from the big man. Strictly speaking, I’m not an elf but virtual assistants like myself can offer an extra pair of hands at this crazy time.
When you go through your upcoming work there may be a set of tasks that are easy to hand over to someone else. You might need help only for this month, or you might have identified a bigger need in your business, whichever it is a virtual assistant will be able to step in. Just make sure that you’re really clear on what you need help with and be prepared to delegate.
If you’re stuck on what you might be able to outsource then find a virtual assistant you click with and share your list with them. If they’re experienced enough they’ll be able to advise on how they can help save you time….and sanity!
Above all elf, remember – you’re one person and the world will keep on turning whether you finish everything or not. Communicate with your clients and be honest about what you’ve finished, or not.
Remember, it’s ok to take time off! We all need time to recharge and re-energise. Give yourself a break, this year has been a long slog so crack open the chocolates, pour a glass of something fizzy and enjoy your Christmas break.