The Christmas downtime is something many of us look forward to. It isn’t just about making time for the important people in our lives, it’s also about taking a break and giving ourselves time to switch off and wind down at the end of the year.

Often though, we want to have the downtime, but we fail to forward plan for it. This leads us to feel like the countdown to Christmas is both stressful and frantic. We also end up feeling guilty, especially when we’ve planned to spend time with our families but end up juggling last minute or overrunning workloads.

If you want that downtime to be less frantic and – dare I say it – a little less guilt-ridden, you need to manage both expectations and plan for that period of downtime, now. This means sitting down and planning what needs to happen, as well as what you need to be implementing now, in order to have a successful Christmas downtime.

But what steps do you need to implement, to alleviate that guilt and stress? Here’s my rundown of the steps you need and how they look.

#1: Make plans now!

It all starts with knowing what you want to happen during the Christmas period. How long do you want that downtime to be? Are you hoping to have a total switch off, or will you still be available for emergencies? Will you be working for certain days during the festive period? Are there certain projects you personally want to implement during that time? What family activities, trips, and amusements are you looking to enjoy over Christmas?

#2: Communicate your plans

Share your plans with your family, friends and clients. Set the intention and the boundaries now, by communicating your plans with everyone. If people have advance warning they can adapt their plans to suit.

#3: Honour the commitment

Block your downtime off in your diary now. This will help you avoid filling that available space with anything else – but it’s also confirming your intentions to yourself and whoever manages your diary.

#4: Make use of automation

There’s so much you can automate that will help things tick over, whilst you’re enjoying your Christmas downtime. Use your email out of office facility to communicate when you’re back in the office. Set up a website funnel to collect leads and add people to your mailing list etc. Schedule social media content to go live whilst you’re away from your desk.

#5: Know when you need to start wrapping up and closing the doors

If you’re taking on any new clients, decide if you’ll do this right up until the day before your downtime or if you’re implementing an earlier doors-closed process.  Know when you need to start wrapping up existing projects and plan what steps you need to implement, to adhere to those wrap-updates.

And once you’ve gone through these steps, give yourself permission to look forward to your Christmas downtime and enjoy it when it happens! You’ve worked hard throughout the year – you deserve to spend this time with your family and friends, relaxed and totally switched off from work.

If you need some help managing your time between now and the Christmas period, it’s not too late to hire a PA! Why not get in touch – let’s have a chat and see how our team can help you enjoy your downtime during Christmas and start the New Year off, more focused and with less on your plate! To get in touch simply head over to our contact page, where you’ll find our phone and email details, along with an online contact form, if you prefer.

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