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How to Reduce Holiday Stress and Overwhelm When You’re Working from Home

The following post is from Prerna of The Mom Writes:

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While the holidays are  a lot of fun, they can be a serious cause of stress for those of us who’re working from home.

How do we juggle client calls and holiday shopping?

Or working on projects and making Christmas cookies?

Or dealing with orders and decorating the house?

Yes, you see. The holidays can be stressful when you have a work-at-home business to take care of as well.

As someone who’s worked out of home for the last 5 years, here are some of my tips on overcoming holiday stress while juggling a home-based business as well:

 1. Make a list and check it twice.

Lists are my best friend, and the friendship deepens during the holidays. I use a holiday planner to keep track of all my lists – cards, shopping, gifts, decorations, menus, addresses, clothes as well as business –related ones, such as schedules, projects, deadlines, appointments.

Having everything in one handy little folder means I just need to flip it open to plan my day and activities.

Need a planner? Mandi has a great bundle of free ones here and in this post, I’m sharing 15 free printable holiday planners.

 2. Bake a batch of tasks.

Batching works wonders and more so during the holidays. Headed out to the mall? See if you can pick up gifts for both clients and family members. Going out for a meeting? How about stopping by at the store to pick up decorations or outfits.

Alternatively, you can batch tasks by doing large quantities of the same task. You know, like batch cooking. For instance, how about setting aside some time everyday to write up blog posts for your business blog that you can later, upload and schedule? Or how about baking large batches of Christmas cookies in one go rather than spreading them over many days?

Batching tasks and chores will avoid time wastage and make every activity count. See what works for you and then, work it!

 3. Pour out unneeded tasks.

Revisit your holiday activities as well as business-related ones and cut out the ones that aren’t really needed. If you can’t do away with them altogether, consider delegating or outsourcing them. For instance, if  you can’t bake a gingerbread house this year, may be you can get one from the bakery. Or if you can’t write weekly blog posts, maybe you can do one every two weeks, and another employee can do the other two. There will always be activities that you can cut out, delegate or downsize.

 4. Fill your stockings with intention.

What is your goal from the holidays? To have a good time, enjoy the season, savor the togetherness and warmth. Or to run around like a headless chicken, panicking, stressing and finally losing it right before the big party? Yeah, I’ve experienced both and trust me the second option is SO not what the holidays should be about.

Filling my schedule and holiday calendar with intention helps me to say ‘no’ to activities that we just can’t manage and ‘yes’ to those that help me really enjoy the holidays.

Can’t host the Christmas dinner this year? Apologize gracefully and move on.

Whether it is a holiday tradition or a business activity, if taking it on will overwhelm you and your family, pause a minute and think about it.

How will you be reducing holiday stress while juggling a work-at-home business as well? 

Prerna Malik is a mom, a wife, a writer and woman who believes in being postively productive, parenting with love and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Find her sharing her journey and experiences with productivity and parenting at The Mom Writes.