This time of the year can be filled with chaos, drama, and uncertainty… it doesn’t have to be that way!  Here are our favourite tips to help you through the silly season and prepare for a successful Christmas shutdown.

1. Safety first – in the rush to meet deadlines this time of year is renowned for increased workplace injuries. Slow down, avoid mistakes and stay safe.

2. Be clear on how much you can physically achieve – set boundaries, be super clear on the workload you can manage, and avoid trying to keep everyone happy because at the end of the day someone is likely to lose out. Don’t forget to put the kid’s school concert or drinks with friends into your schedule these may not be urgent but they are important long term.

3. Priorities the workload using “Eisenhower box”

4. Cash flow – invoice as the job is completed and follow up on payments as they fall due. Get on the phone and have a conversation with slow payers. Dedicating a set time each week to simply call and follow up gives you an opportunity to resolve any issues quickly and get money in your bank. 

5. Send a reminder to your customers and suppliers with your closure dates – we all know how much we have on our plates this time of year so make sure you send out a text or email reminding customers and suppliers of your closure dates. Sample message: We will be closed from 3pm on Wednesday 22nd December and reopening at 7am on 10th January. We wish you and your family a safe and happy festive season.

6. Focus time on specific tasks – This time of the year is hectic we get it, lots of things that must get done and so many people want your attention. Choose how you use your time wisely to avoid getting caught up in other people’s chaos.

7. Set up auto-reply email messages – Not everyone will be taking a break and chances are you’ll have emails arriving throughout the holiday period. There are a couple of options you could consider…

  • Auto-reply sample message – This email address is unmonitored whilst we take a break. We will be recharged and back on deck from 10th January please contact us again after the 10th. Wishing you a safe and happy festive season.
  • Auto-reply sample message – We are currently closed for the Christmas New Year period we will be reopening on Monday 3rd If you need to contact us during this period, please call (enter the phone number of the person on call)
  • To avoid returning to a mass of emails consider setting up auto-delete rules for all messages received while you are closed… just make sure your auto-reply message is clear that you are not monitoring emails.

8. Email on return – When you return to the office send an email to welcome everyone back and let them know you’re ready to take calls.

9. Turn off your phone and relax – embrace the stillness and calm of not being connected to technology

  • You will enjoy more quality time with those around you
  • Your employees will get better at decision making
  • You’ll learn the difference between an emergency and an “emergency”
  • Your brain will work better