Christmas is only a few weeks away, so it’s the perfect time to get organised now before the holidays kick in.
As a business leader, where do you start? Follow our guide to getting everything lined up and sorted – and you should be able to avoid the usual holiday stress!
1. Prioritise your workload… realistically
You can’t do everything, so focus on what really matters. Use your preferred system to identify tasks that are both important and urgent and get those done. Apologise to people who will have to wait until after Christmas. When thinking about priority tasks, remember that this time of year is essential for human connection, so a true business priority may involve calling suppliers, customers and partners and wishing them a happy Christmas in person, or even calling around for coffee. You may find that these relationship-building and nurturing tasks are more strategically important (and enjoyable) than reporting in December. Be smart with your time.
2. Look at business implications
First of all, work out when your business will close for Christmas, and how its hours will adjust over the holiday season. Communicate this now to customers, partners, suppliers and employees if you haven’t done so already, with clear guidance on how to get in touch in case of an emergency.
Then, assess how your closing dates will affect your business. Are there implications for payroll or finance? Work with your functional experts and managers to plan ahead.
3. Look at your own calendar
Remember, great leaders don’t attempt to do everything themselves, which would cause them to become stressed and agitated. Instead, they trust their teams to deliver and are excellent communicators. They also take time to celebrate effort, performance and success, so it’s vital to book Christmas team celebrations for your staff – and attend them yourself to say thank you and to demonstrate that the work/life balance is essential. Think about the shadow of the leader and the trickle-down effect of the behaviours you model.
4. Start thinking about next year
December is also a great time to start thinking about next year and to plan ahead, especially strategically. For example, what key projects would you like to work on with your direct reports? What emerging markets or possibilities do you want to research over the holidays? What’s working and what isn’t? Do you need to adjust your ways of working to grow your business sustainably and take it forward?
Maybe start work a few minutes earlier each morning in December and allow yourself some time for unstructured, creative thinking and planning rather than launching into your inbox! As an example, perhaps as a creative or media business in London, you could look at your office space and consider a more modern way of working that supports innovation, creativity, a diverse workforce and well-being.
5. Take time to celebrate!
Get yourself into out-of-office mode and do some inbox administration to reduce spam and unwanted weekly emails. Tidy your desk so that it looks good when you return. Put a new paper calendar or something inspirational next to your screen so that, when you come back in the new year, you will see something that makes you feel inspired, happy and raring to go. Then go and join your colleagues for a Christmas celebration and relax!
After all, Christmas is the season of goodwill, rest and celebration, and as a business leader, it’s vital that you take time to enjoy this too.
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