Busy professionals and business owners often struggle with work-life balance, but the struggle becomes all the more real as they prepare for a new year. On one hand, they are working toward meeting year-end business and financial goals; on the other hand, they are trying to make time to spend with their loved ones. It is possible to do both. Here are a few helpful suggestions, presented by Core Professional Solutions
Assess Your Goals First
It is easy for busy professionals and business owners to lose sight of the big picture when they get bogged down in the details. The first step toward meeting your end-of-the-year goals is to assess them and make sure that the goals you wrote at the beginning of the year remain your most important objectives now that the end of the year is upon you. You may find that you are spending time working toward goals that are unrealistic or that no longer should be your focus given your present status. Consider using a timesheet to manage tasks assigned to employees (or even yourself if it helps you keep focused). This might sound too simple, but the addition of a traditional timesheet is a great way to make workers more aware of how they are using their time.
It’s also important to keep in mind that your year-end goals are just goals, and they are not non-negotiables that completely will make or break you. Be honest with yourself when assessing your goals and your progress toward meeting them. Did you make progress and reach benchmarks? Were there unforeseen circumstances that prevented you from reaching your goals? Did your vendors or stakeholders change halfway through the year? Identify what worked and what didn’t and then make sure that you work toward the goals that matter most now.
Work More Efficiently
It can be hard to ignore the distractions of emails, phone calls, social media, the Internet, and so on, but working more efficiently is key during the end-of-the-year crunch time. Make a prioritized to-do list, set deadlines for your most pressing goals, and stay focused and on track. Hold yourself accountable, and make sure that your colleagues or staff members do the same.
Whenever possible, look for ways that can help you make some of your work a little easier. For instance, if you use Instagram Stories to help spread the word about your business online, seek out tools and resources that can help you reduce the amount of time you spend on them. Use an Instagram Story template to make posting these little marketing tidbits simple and hassle-free, which will allow you to focus on other projects.
For some busy professionals and business owners, placing photos of their loved ones near their workspace helps them stay motivated and focused. For others, strategically placing photos of home around the office works well. Dig down and find what will work for you to avoid distractions and work as efficiently as possible through the homestretch.
Attend Parties and Family Events
It may seem unusual to suggest that you attend end-of-the-year parties when you’re scrambling for time, but these events help you kill two birds with one stone. You’ll be able to enjoy these festivities, but you’ll also continue to network and make connections that can benefit your business. Many companies and customers spend more during the fourth quarter because of budget policies that result in their losing money if they don’t spend it, and many individuals make larger purchases near the end of the year to help them at tax time.
Use holiday gatherings as a pleasant excuse for networking. If you mingle at parties, you may find yourself building rapport with prospects and building relationships that become profitable for you. You may be able to reconnect with former customers or lost opportunities, or you may have the opportunity to cross-sell or upsell your existing customers. The majority of business often occurs during the last two weeks of December, so enjoy yourself at get-togethers knowing that you are potentially delighting prospects and customers and helping your bottom line.
Delegate Where Possible
Of course, there are some things that you simply will not have time for if you want to achieve your year-end goals. If you are traveling to celebrate New Year’s, have your assistant make your travel arrangements and plan to have someone keep an eye on your home and collect your mail. If you’re working through lunch to tie up loose ends and can’t get home to take your dog for a midday walk, hire a dog walker or pet sitter. If your house is in shambles after the holidays, hire a housecleaner to do a thorough cleaning. Having a freshly cleaned home will help you kick off 2022 on a positive note.
If you assess and prioritize your end-of-the-year goals, work more efficiently, network while enjoying yourself, and delegate some of your at-home tasks, you can close out 2021 with a bang and take a big leap into 2022.