MRM: 5 Tips for Enjoying the Holidays as a Small Business Owner and Ministry Leader

We all know that Black Friday through New Year’s is a wonderfully lucrative season for most small businesses, non-profits, and ministries. Customers and clients are most inclined to shop, give, sponsor, and donate this time of year, and it’s fantastic! Managing the sales or the marketing campaigns, though, can easily double or triple the business owner’s time investment for November through January, which can make enjoying the holiday season challenging. Add to that family responsibilities, travel, shopping, and more, and it’s easy for this time of year to quickly become a not joyful season for entrepreneurs and leaders.

How can you leverage this season for the good of your cause or business without losing your Christmas spirit?

5 Tips for Enjoying the Holidays as a Business Owner or Ministry Leader

Manage Your Own Expectations

You can’t be everywhere or do everything. And that’s okay! Holiday sales or promotions can be critical to the success of your business or ministry this time of year, but taking care of yourself is important as well. Set realistic expectations for what you can accomplish in the days and weeks ahead and give yourself grace for what doesn’t make the cut. Setting these boundaries and limits for yourself will often also help manage the expectations others place on you.

Make a Plan

Within those realistic expectations, make a list of all the to-do’s in your mind. What needs to be done before Christmas? Or before the new year? Make a quick “brain dump list”, then prioritize and organize that list. Sort tasks by categories for business, personal, and family and determine right away what can easily be delegated to someone else on your team or in your family.

Ask for help. As entrepreneurs, ministry leaders, or writers, we often try to tackle all the things on our own. Add in our jobs as moms, wives, or homemakers, and it is so easy for our time to be overcommitted. Look for opportunities to bring in help, whether it’s hiring someone to clean the house before a gathering, arranging a babysitter for the kids while you spend a couple of uninterrupted hours working or shopping or cooking, or hiring a virtual assistant to take care of tedious but necessary tasks. Involve your family, friends, and connections as much as possible.

Just say “no”. It is absolutely okay to say ‘no’ to anything new that comes your way this time of year, or anything that is not urgent or necessary before the first of the year. If it didn’t make your to-do list and it’s not a priority, you can set it aside or pass it off.

Guard Your Time

Set reasonable holiday hours. Whether you operate a brick and mortar store or an online business, set practical hours of operation for when your customers or clients can expect you to be available, and communicate those early and often.

On the same note, schedule time off for yourself and your team. Prepare as much as you can ahead of time for sales, donation campaigns, upcoming projects, and more, and then plan for the days off. {And stick to them!}

Set autoresponders on your inbox to remind customers and clients you will be out of the office, and be protective of giving out any private contact information, such as a cell phone number. Boundaries are healthy for everyone and help ensure you are as productive as possible before taking a break, as well as allow you to actually take that needed break during a busy season.

Press Pause

Be intentional about rest. On those pre-planned days off, don’t give in to the temptation to fill those days completely with the typical holiday busyness. Set aside time for you to rest and recharge, whatever that may look like for you. Baking, decorating, crafting, chatting with a friend, a quiet drive with a cup of your favorite holiday treat – whatever it is, leave time and room in the schedule for what fills you up!

Remember the Reason for the Season

Along with intentional rest, take time to be grateful for what this year has meant to you, your business or ministry, and your family. Be fully present with your family, church, and community.

Most of all, focus your heart and mind on the gift of Jesus and the blessings of this time of year! Presents under the tree, the joy on a child’s face on Christmas morning, time with loved ones – these are all priceless memories. But the greatest gift of all time, and the source of peace, hope, love, and joy is God’s Son!

We pray these reminders are helpful and your holidays are blessed this year. If you have time and task management tips to share, we would love to hear from you!

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