If you’re self-employed or freelancing, it can be difficult to switch off during what should be a relaxing time, like Christmas. We discuss ways to disconnect from the machine, even if it’s just for a couple of days.
When Your Business is Your Life
It’s easy to understand why the self-employed or small business owners are precious about what happens to their business over the festive period. When you spend every waking hour for the greater good of your business, it’s hard to imagine switching that off.
Having this mind set is exactly why small businesses succeed. However, it’s also exactly why you need to disconnect. By the time the festive season rolls around you’ve probably been working flat out to get all jobs done and all orders fulfilled in time for Christmas.
Putting an out of office on your emails might be unthinkable. However, this is only step one to getting the rest you need.
For inspiration, try setting yourself a date by which your out of office will activate. This’ll give you a target to work towards and might even encourage you to work more efficiently to achieve that goal.
Of course, any out of office message will need a contingency plan for emergencies. Including an emergency contact number within your message will ensure any genuine issues are still picked up.
If you run a business mobile phone separate from your personal phone, look into setting a similar message on your voicemail. You’ll be forgiven for checking this once or twice over the Christmas period but remember that during the festive period there’s probably very little you could do even if you wanted to!
Don’t Forget to Enjoy Yourself
You’ve probably heard this from partners, family or friends during Christmas. To avoid your mind wandering into non-festive issues, try preparing a checklist of jobs you can do before Christmas and those that can be left until after Christmas. Finish the pre-festive list and be safe in the knowledge there isn’t anything outstanding you can’t leave until the New Year.
Keeping Your Social Media Social
You’ve probably worked hard on your social media all year so leaving it alone for a couple of days might seem like a terrible idea. Fear not, as there are ways to keep things busy while you get your feet up and enjoy the Christmas films. Using social scheduling tools, you can continue to post as if you haven’t even gone anywhere. Have a read of our blog post on ‘Staying Active Online’ for tips on how to do this.
Booking Time off Work
As you already know, being your own boss takes an awful lot of discipline; this is amplified if you work from home. To get yourself in the right mind-set during Christmas why not book yourself some time off, even if this means marking a few days in your calendar as ‘off’. The psychology of booking time off could help you treat it as a holiday rather than just time away from the office or laptop.
It may feel that as you run the show you can’t take time off and that simply isn’t true. Winding down and getting into the Christmas spirit with your business partners, suppliers and customer’s at this time of year is probably the best encouragement you can have to shut up shop, if not just for a little bit.
How do you switch off from the day job? Let us know in the comments.