Here are my tips for a stress-free holiday! I'd love your tips as well, please comment away!
1) Let clients know well in advance your holiday schedule and try and stick with the same schedule if possible year after year. For example, I normally take the same days off each year so my clients know this and can work around it. What I find is that when I do this they know in advance so the few days before I take off I don't get tons of work.
2) Have a subcontractor who can help for a few hours. There's no better feeling than being out there shopping and knowing that the work is still being taken care of. You normally still make money on the work that your subcontractor does and it can alleviate so much stress.
3) Really focus and have a daily to do list. Also, keep track of the time you spend on tasks and write it down. During the holidays time flies by and we don't even realize where the days go. By staying focused you can get so much more accomplished. And with writing down your time, you can see that work is getting done. Watch your emails and only check them so many times a day (this will depend on the type of your business.) One small change can make a huge difference. For example, during the holidays you normally get tons of coupons, which you really want to check out. When you do though, you get sidetracked and don't focus as well. I set up in Outlook a rule so all coupons go into a folder first. That way I'm not tempted to look. And when I do look, all my coupons are together.
Thanks! Diana Ennen/ www.virtualwordpublishing.com