Being a home business owner is fun, rewarding and hectic all rolled into on lumpy bundle. Since you are your own boss, the option of a “paid holiday” is there (kinda) but also takes some planning. AND since the “holidays” are just around the corner, no better time than the present to get crackin on Planning for the Holidays as a Work at Home Parent.
Of course the planning includes the normal holiday “To Do” stuff like gifts, shopping, holiday gatherings, school functions and a plethora of other “must dos.” And then there’s business prep, and as a work-at-home parent, that’s what I want to address today.
So the big question is; how do you (calmly) handle the holiday hustle and bustle when you work from home? Here are a few tips.
Planning for the Holidays as a Work at Home Parent
Set Your Boundaries: Pick the days you don’t plan to work. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Day, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, and Halloween..whatever those days may be. Then mark them off on your calendars and block them off in your scheduler so you are not tempted to “squeeze something in.” Trust me, it’s harder than you’d think, but if you don’t mindfully set aside those times NOW, they will just morph into normal work days for you.
Plan Ahead at Home:Dealing with the mad scramble of meal planning and gift buying because you put it off too long makes for a monumental stress load on top of a work load. Set aside time to ignore email and texts and focus on ticking off your personal To Dos along with your professional ones.
Plan Ahead at Work: Like your personal tasks, your work-related tasks should never be put off until the last second. Why? Because about the time you decided to procrastinate, super-storms come through, drops trees on your house and knock out Internet for a week. True story.
That being said, not only should you stay ahead of your work demands, you should know which days you choose to not be available for work and prepare for the loss of those billable hours. In a nutshell, you have three tasks ahead of you (and the earlier you plan the better):
Task One: Let your clients/customers know of your days off ahead of time. I promise you 99.9% of your clients will respect your decision and probably have opted to take those days off too.
Task Two: Work ahead. By work ahead I mean get as ahead on projects/tasks/deadlines as possible so you don’t find your self panicking and hauling tail two days before Christmas with a workload the size of Mount Everest.
Task Three: Stash some cash or work on passive income. For many of us who work via the billable hour, time off means time lost. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Passive income like affiliate sales commissions or sales from products that are already created will help you coast through the time when you aren’t working billable hours.
Ask for Help if You Need it: The holidays or vacation times are great time for what I like to call “calling in the cavalry.” If you have fellow momprenuers, sub out some of your work to them. Not only will this free up your time, but I am sure they will appreciate the work as well.