How to get through the holiday chaos

Being a woman and an entrepreneur during the holiday season can be tough. The holiday chaos starts in November, and the planning and preparation that goes into December can be exhausting. We try to prepare our holiday plans way in advance, but as a woman in business, we don’t tend to plan out the work-life-balance portion in preparation for, what is likely, the busiest month of the year.

Holiday Chaos + Three Birthdays

In my home, not only do we celebrate Christmas four times due to my parents being divorced, but we also celebrate three birthdays. That’s right, three of our sons have birthdays before Christmas. During the month of December, we also support our eldest son in high school basketball as his schedule is full, with mainly only Sundays off. Oh, and did I mention decorating the house? We put up many trees in our home. Six trees to be exact, each fully decorated (my choice and I would not choose differently). I also do all the Christmas shopping for 11 people, clients and friends, and I wrap all the presents. I always bake up a storm and deliver goodies to our neighbours. Lastly, I may be an anomaly here, but I also mail over 200 Christmas cards.

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Are you exhausted yet? I know I am, and I haven’t even gotten to the regular household chores and duties, along with running our businesses. No wonder I don’t host dinner during the holidays!

Holiday Chaos - The Clarke Crew 2017

The Clarke Crew 2017

What about the business?

In all this hustle and bustle, where is the business development? Where is working on the business as well as working in the business? Where is the family time? And where is the “me” time? It took me about nine years to figure all this out and I am continually getting better at this every year. I have this down to a science and it starts in early November.

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Here are five tips and tricks that have gotten me through the holiday chaos.

Planning is key

Planning for the month of December in your home and business will set you up for success. First, make a list of everything that needs to be done in all areas of your life. Then, sit down with a monthly, weekly and daily calendar and plan it all out. Start by booking the most important dates and tasks into your schedule. Next, fill in your secondary items. Lastly, add those items which, even if they weren’t done, Christmas would still happen and you would be happy regardless if they were done or not.

Make sure to schedule in business activities

December may not be a month where you are looking to grow your business, however maintaining your business flow and connecting with your clients is very important. The items and tasks that help you to do so should be some of the most important activities on your calendar.

Meal prep is key

I’m not suggesting you pre-cook your turkey! I’m talking about the meals that you need to make the other 30 days of the month. Invest time into meal prepping weekly so that you can invest more time into those items that need to get done. Or so you can invest the time into your family instead of standing at the fridge wondering what you are going to make for dinner, hoping that something will jump out of the fridge ready-made. (I know I can’t be the only who has done this!)

Holiday chaos - meal prep

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Get as much out of the first two weeks as possible

This comes back to planning and doing so as soon as possible. My goal this year is to host one of the birthday parties, book and organize the other two parties, decorate our home for the holidays, create, order, complete and mail the Christmas cards, have my business plan laid out, have my home schedule complete, and have the meal schedule for the month all complete before December 10th. This takes such a load off my shoulders in December, and I must say that as I write this, I am well on my way to hitting this goal.

Take time for you

If there is one thing I know, it’s this. You cannot pour into another’s cup if your cup isn’t overflowing. Self-care is so important to enjoying and succeeding in the month of December. For you, maybe it’s relaxing in a bubble bath or enjoying a Christmas movie and popcorn or maybe it is reading a book or going out with the girls. Whatever it is, schedule time each week for you and only you. This way you can be your best you for everyone else. Please, fill your cup first.

Holiday Chaos - Yukon the Wonder Puppy

Yukon the Wonder Puppy

Have a harmonious December

These are just a few of the steps that I take to reduce the holiday chaos and ensure that I have a happy December. If I don’t use the above to create a well-executed December, my family will get a frumpy, exhausted, overbearing woman who doesn’t want to see the light of day in December. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want ‘that’ woman to be here during this amazing, fun, loving, and beautiful season!

Decide to do things differently this year. I promise, you will be more fulfilled, and the happiness and joy will radiate off you!

Life is a gift, be brave and unwrap it.

Happy Holiday Planning!

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