It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and it’s going to be here and gone in no time. Here’s some tips for my fellow business owners on how to slow things down and focus on the things that matter instead of all the typical frivolity that carries us away over the holidays.

If you google search how to prepare your business for year end, and you know I did to get ideas for this article, you are going to get a bunch of advice about tips and tricks for getting your taxes in order. These articles are very informative, but that’s not what I’ll be talking about here (to nerd out on reducing taxes, you can skip this blog completely and go here). This post is about everything else that will help you end the year on a jollier note.

Don’t try to get everything done.

This has been my nemesis! I was always adding crap to my to do list and overwhelming myself when it became unwieldy and long. It’s a ridiculously mean thing I’ve done – and sometimes still do – to myself. These days I limit myself to 7 to-do’s a day. 

I do this by applying the following filters to my list:

  1. Is this just making work? 
  2. Can I eliminate this task? 
  3. If I can’t eliminate this task, can I automate it? 
  4. Can it be delegated, or can I teach someone else how to do this?
  5. Can I do this task now, or should I do it later?

I hope your list is now ⅓ of the length it used to be. You’re welcome.

Connect with your clients.

It’s a great time of year to touch base and see what your clients have going on. 

  • What are they up to for the holidays? 
  • Does their business have particular holiday hours you should be aware of? 
  • Schedule a date to touch base in the new year if you don’t already have one set.

If you’ve got your own vacation time planned over the holidays, send out an email to clients a few weeks out so they have time to prepare and any loose ends can get tied up before your much needed vacation. Once you are heading out on holiday, make sure you truly unplug: turn off your notifications and turn on your out-of-office messages. Plan a slow re-entry to work upon your return: work a half day or plan something fun your first day back – that way getting back won’t be too jarring.

Treat yourself.

Take time during your week to practice self-care. This can be amid-day walk, lunch with a friend, a bath before bed, or taking a few deep breaths on a busy day. If you are a list-lover like me, create a “no” list of a couple things you don’t want to do! Like no checking emails at night, no attending gatherings you don’t like, etc..

Send handwritten cards to your clients to express your gratitude to them. Tell them how you’ve enjoyed working with them and how you’re excited to see what the new year brings.

Celebrate the season with your team! Find out how they want to celebrate and make it 100% all about the fun- no talking shop allowed, except to say thank you for all the hard work they’ve done.

Keep these tips on hand with this handy infographic: Year End Business Tips

Want more tips on how to make work more manageable? Subscribe to our newsletter.