The Christmas period is approaching and everyone is getting ready to put the breaks on and get into the Christmas spirit. Well, this article is for those who struggle to make the switch from work to have a break.
Does it seem like everyone is in the party mood already and all the talk is not long now and a nice long break but you're not feeling that? Why am I not in the mood?
When all year I am exhausted and the one chance I get when things do get quiet in the Trade, I feel like it’s the last thing I should be doing.
Why is that? Guilt? Am I just not able to relax anymore? Am I a Grumpy?
This Sunday, let's see if we can get you to switch off with a bit of help from the Saint Trade Coaches and start to be the one who leads the Christmas cheer and also start to take care of you, the most important asset of the business.
💡 Q: Why do we find it so hard to switch off?
A: There can be so many things to cover but I will go through some things quickly and hopefully some points will be of help.
Some people can switch off and have no worries (they say) and for some people, it sets alarm bells off in them if they are even entertaining the idea of taking a break and it’s very very powerful. At this time we call it the Xmas alarm bell, for some reason it makes people without knowing it very anxious around this time of year.
It's what are the real spikes that come into our mind that we have to try to observe. What if it's not just work related that's causing the stress but we're mixing it up? Maybe it's 50% work and 50% of what Christmas means to them as such, past and present, wishes and wants.
💬 Q: What do you tell people?
A: It can be lots of things. Mostly it's just realising it could be the 50/50 thing and that helps as a quick win reminder to keep telling themselves to calm down as a lot of people get stuck in thinking it's just a work thing only and they then circle and circle going over the same sort of feelings as you said at the start, is it guilt, have they become grumpy, is everything done and the usually suspect what if I forget to do something.
If people are bunching the two elements of work and life together without realising it, the work signals can get really distorted and direction is lost. They then can become a bit stressed dealing with people or reflect too much when it’s not needed.
There are all sorts of things to consider on the life front at Christmas time as we all have to face but this can add a lot of emotional spikes to our run into the period and it can if unchecked vent into our work life unchecked and the anxiety can raise.
If I say how will Christmas be for you to someone whilst they are in the middle of a busy day they sometimes can’t really answer, it's a blank, they have no real vision so that can be down to hesitancy or usually they just hope it's good for them but they cannot picture it. We have all had a long year and all have different pasts. It’s time now to choose what our Xmas is going to be like and let’s make it as good as it can be.
🔨 Q: What about people who struggle with taking time off?
A: Sometimes it can be they just have no one to help, lack or fear of cash, busy workload or they fall Into bad habits of just working all the time. Over-working especially in our trade is easy to slip into, we can call a client and say can we get in the weekend to hack off or something else mad like strike a Scaff and we start missing any off days and it just becomes a blur.
People come to us all the time with this, yes it can be lots of things - structures or methods. Sometimes it's just the person has pressed the “Go" Lever so much it's now stuck in the fast forward position. We just help them knock that mindset loose and start to re learn to throttle back and only gear up when needed.
One of the signs of a workaholic is that they have sadly lost the real connection of feeling good or fun and they are the last one to know but can often be seen in the faces of others around them.
They could get a new toy for the firm etc new van or car but it brings no real joy and then feel bad and find themselves justifying why they bought it to people or even find it hard to interact and get involved with family and friends or even do things like days out. They do not take time off because they get this mad feeling come over them, guilt or a gut feeling, whatever it is but it just does not feel right to relax and they opt to work, be it on the tools or just playing at it for example in the office but not really getting much done.
Firstly they need to not work and secondly but more importantly switch off as well which we have some great techniques so do consider jumping on a call and talk to us, there are so many reasons that can be involved and I am trying to answer a quick Q & A here but investments in yourself like coaching or working with Saint to bring balance to your business, this pays back so much value. What you spend with us it goes against your corporation tax so sometimes it is a no brainer.
People join and enjoy it but we both have to be onboard for it to work, some cannot see the value they just see a spend and stay as they are. As Oscar Wilde said “a cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing” so if people join and do not go with it and just question the whole concept then we look for this as they are not a good fit for us. We only want to work with people who want to make improvements. People can ring in and say I have had 5 accountants or media people and they have all been terrible, is it them or you? and so we have to be careful who we let in as well.
Simple things work and can bring a lightbulb moment that can change their lives and relationship and we work towards changing this so the old smile comes back.
⏳ Q: Is it hard to change?
A: We have to make it a hard rule to learn to celebrate our victories and good times, if not, what’s the point, if we do not then we have lost our way as the good moments are there but we have failed to realise it.
So we have to be open to the concept of unlearning the negative feeling that comes with taking time off at Xmas or anytime and replacing it with a new upload as the old version we are working on has been corrupted. We are the Author’s of our life so from today we can rewrite the new script and say I am going to turn the phone off this time, I am going to go and see XXXX, I am going to do this with them and so on, we have not got to keep replaying the old story anymore.
Even me saying this can start you creating and filling in a mental picture of what Xmas can now be like whereas at the start of the Session it was blank for some people, you see it’s in there, we just got a bit broken and damaged and stuck from a tough year and needed to give ourselves a bit of a reboot. Write down all the good things you’re going to do over the break, take a deep breath and know it’s ok to relax, it’s one of the rules.
🔌 Q: What are the benefits of taking a break?
A: Well all the signs of guilt, undecided thoughts and the anxious feeling is a good example of someone actually needing a break from burnout. A few days off will always help reset the mind and bring a bit more calmness. The little things really help, a nap, no phone. We spend all our year racing around it seems in the wrong gear and this is a moment for you to give your body and mind a little rest. What does that mean in real terms? Before you take a break your mind is holding every detail of say a big job and that's all you can see, when you come back from a break, the job just looks like a big invoice waiting to be completed, you still know the details but you're more motivated and connected in completing it.
👨👩👦👦 Q: What is something they can try?
A: The Art of doing nothing, We spend all the time being productive but to just stop and take a moment is so unheard of now. I would ask them to get comfy, even take a bath and not think about or do anything, just sit and think for 30 mins. It’s a lost art and we are so disrupted now with the phones and social media. The first time they sit it will probably feel like there are two versions of themselves and they have not sat down together with each other for a long long time. One version of you may feel it will want to go and find something to do, get up, something, anything so be strong. This is hard at the start as the Mind is pumping ideas and all sorts of emotions but if they just sit and ignore this and push back then it really can bring down the levels and when you exit you can be in such a different place it's amazing and helps you reconnect again.
For example, at the start they may feel like their life and Mind is racing blindly at 100 mph. Well maybe then it's a good opportunity to stop the ride and get off for once and then they can start seeing and feeling where they are going again.
🕜 Q: Is there any tips to get done before the break?
A: Of course, the usual Saint VA Protocol helps.
- Make your to do list for January now so when you come back you are getting the information from when you were in full flow. You will be busy because you are rested and eager to go so let’s make the New Year the best year.
- Work with your VA they can keep up with you in your work planner for January and identify calls or orders to be made etc to and instructions that can be put in the diary etc.
- Send "Thank You" emails to your clients thanking them for everything this year and by doing so give an early indication of your shutdown period.
- Get your saint VA to send your client gifts!
- Prepare your shutdown and escalation process for the period you are off.
- Work hard to clear your tasks and desk before you go, pretend you’re going on a 2 week holiday.
- Write you automated emails for the shutdown
- Prepare and leave your voicemail on the main phones and mobiles with a Christmas greeting, any escalation contact details and when you will open up the office again.
- Redirect the phones if need be to mirror the escalation process.
- Finally, Go and enjoy Christmas!
🎉 That's a wrap!
These Questions and Answers was brought to me by common questions that our Trade Coaches get around the Christmas period. If you are looking to get started with a Trade Coach, simply get in touch her for a no-obligation chat.
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This article has been provided for information purposes only. You should consult your own professional advisors for advice directly relating to your business or before taking action in relation to any of the provided content.
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