All individuals need to recharge to return to work refreshed–perhaps solopreneurs most of all. To help, here are our five time-management tips to keep your season bright and productive.

Plan Ahead to Rest Later

Unlike an office with colleagues to cover you in a pinch, a solopreneur has no backup. Planning is essential to step away from work without worry. This includes:

  • Plan what days to take off. Don’t play it by ear–that’s a recipe for taking no days off.
  • Send proactive emails to business contacts establishing your upcoming availability, so they have plenty of time to tap you before your time off. If you’re in ecommerce, remind customers of current supply-chain challenges and suggest placing orders by a certain date.
  • Send out holiday cards and customer gifts sooner rather than later. If you wait till the last minute, they may not happen at all.
  • Clearly state your days/hours of availability on your email out-of-office message, voicemail, Slack, etc. to set expectations and take a true break.

Delegate to Get It All Done

You don’t need to be a lone wolf all the time. If your brain isn’t essential to complete a task, consider delegating it. Here are some ideas for enlisting help:

  • Hire a virtual temp for admin. 
  • Let your social-savvy, trustworthy family member or friend manage your social media presence during the busy season.
  • Pay someone else to clean your house/mow your lawn/hang your holiday lights so you have more time for tasks only you can do.

Prioritize and Conquer

Your energy will likely deplete as the holiday nears, so plan and prioritize accordingly!

  • High-value activities that affect the bottom line should be at the top of your to-do list.
  • Break down large projects into smaller more manageable chunks. Devote blocks of time, such as two hours, to knock out those smaller chunks until you’ve completed the entire project. 
  • Don’t put off boring-but-critical work, such as accounting. You don’t want your books to be off during the holidays.
  • Save the less-time-sensitive, more-tedious work for later–maybe play some holiday music to lift your spirits while you work on mundane tasks.

Make Technology Your Friend, Not a Time-Sucking Enemy

Technology helps us accomplish work and distracts us with cute cat videos, followed by cute dog videos, followed by cute goats-befriending-chickens videos. You know your tech weaknesses, so put bumpers in place to curb them. Some examples:

  • In your phone’s settings, set time limits on time-wasting apps. Better yet, remove these apps altogether. You can add them back later when time is less of the essence. 
  • If email tends to dictate your day, approach it differently. Constrain it to time blocks, as we described above. Or knock out your most important task before even opening your email.
  • Use apps, services, etc. to automate tasks and free up your time. Our top recommendation: Sanebox (obviously). Why sift through all those emails when our algorithm can do it for you?

Self-Care Sets the Stage

Remember: Treat yourself right even as you work hard to wind up the year. If you get knocked out by illness or exhaustion, who will run your solo show? (Answer: no one.)

  • Sleep isn’t a nice-to-have while busy. It’s essential to accomplish all you need to in the time you have. Prioritize it.
  • Be aware of your caffeine consumption. You may need it for fuel, but it’s bad for sleep and can heighten anxiety. Create a daily caffeine cut-off–we recommend 2 p.m.
  • Keep your sugar intake in check by keeping healthy foods around. So yeah, enjoy those cookies your neighbor brought over, but also buy apples as a go-to snack. You’ll feel better and less prone to sugar crashes while you need to stay sharp.

Happy Holidays to You

For solopreneurs, time is money. So spend your time wisely and then reward yourself with a well-earned break!

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