Go From Stuffed to Successful with These Business Self-Care Tips
With the holidays upon us, the inadvertent burn out from handling the hustle bustle in addition to running a business is a foregone conclusion for most. Business owners and their businesses start running on fumes, trying to meet year-end deadlines while arranging to send out gifts to business partners, clients, and employees. Moments like this call for self-care, and the kind of self-care that involves more than a trip to the spa, a hike up a trail, or even a happy hour break (although, a good happy hour break every now and then is always appreciated.)
Self-care for you and your business involves a little more investment in time and preparation before the year-end madness strikes. Implement self-care tactics earlier on to prevent holiday burnout. Here are a couple of tips you may want to consider:
In any undertaking, preparation is key. The same goes with tackling the holidays—plan ahead. Avoid the stress of making last-minute decisions. Schedule any holiday closures in advance so that you and your team can meet deadlines effectively. Make sure to inform clients and customers as well so that they can plan ahead as well.
Schedule time off for you and your team in advance of the holidays to ensure adequate staffing when needed. Have contingency plans for both anticipated and unforeseen challenges. Always have a back-up to your back-up.
Build the habit of taking breaks.
Incorporate breaks in the day-to-day operations of your business. Build pauses in the workday. Don’t schedule back-to-back meetings. Allow yourself and your team time to process the information and to formulate effective action plans as well as to catch up with tasks they need to accomplish during the workday. It is easy to just want to get on with the day, but humans are not wired to always function at optimal levels 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Encourage employees to take breaks away from their desks. Let your team walk outside. Take a coffee break or just step away from their desk. If your team is working from home, encourage mini breaks to just stretch or walk their pet or even meditate.
Taking lunch is a big one. A lot of times, employees, and business owners too, tend to work through lunch just to meet a deadline. Don’t make this a habit! Lunch time is a chance to refuel to tackle the second part of the day. Encourage your team to eat lunch away from their desks—aside from it not being sanitary, it will allow them to focus on taking a mental and physical reset.
Prioritize your people.
A business is only as effective as its people. Your human resources are always one of the most valuable resources you have. Make sure you take care of them so they can take care of your business. Schedule regular check-ins with your leadership team and make sure your leadership team is also checking in with their teams as well. If you are a small business, have weekly one-on-one check-ins with them to see how they are doing and what they are working on. Respect their time boundaries. If they are at lunch, on their break, or have the day off, do not interrupt that time. Give them that time to do what they need to do.
Allow for flexibility in their work schedules. If they need to schedule appointments, pick up their children, or run an errand during the workday, make allowances for it. When you give them a degree of latitude, they’ll be more than happy to return the favor when deadlines are in earnest.
Always be mindful of your business relationships. Practice gratitude towards your business partners, your employees, your customers, your clients, and your community. Expressing your appreciation goes a long way. It doesn’t necessarily mean just during the holiday season—make it a habit. Expressing your gratitude makes people feel seen and heard. As mentioned before, this paves the way to building stronger business relationships.
Pause and Reflect.
Press pause and schedule some time to reflect on the year. Evaluate accomplishments and challenges. What worked for your business? What didn’t work? How were certain obstacles handled? How can your business grow and evolve? Use this time to set goals—both short term and long term. Plan for the next year.
Think of scheduling a mid-year checkpoint or even a quarterly checkpoint to see if you are heading in the right direction or even to reevaluate if adjustments to the current plan need to be made.
Help others by helping yourself first.
As a business owner, it is easy to do things for your business, your team, and your community. However, you need to lead by example and practice the self-care you expect from your business relationships. If you expect them to take breaks, you need to take those breaks as well. Your time boundaries need to be respected as well. By practicing self-care for your business, you need to ensure that you do it for yourself too.
Practicing self-care for your business even before the holidays allows you to avoid the whirlwind of the holidays—or at least minimize its impact. It takes preparation, forming good habits, and setting an example. Don’t forget to take the time to breathe, pause, and create the best course of action for your business.