DECEMBER: THINK OF THE FOOD COMA!
It's important not to try and do TOO MUCH in December, you want to make sure you have time to don the sparkles and drink the fizz, so I'm only going to be doing 3 things this December to project me forwards for next year.
1. PLAN YOUR FESTIVE SOCIALS NOW
This should be an easy task. Plot on your calendar when you want to be one hundred and ten percent focussed on your family, the Turkey or those important measures of Baileys. If you don't already maybe look at a social media planning app. I personally use a mixture of Facebook and Trello with my wonderful assistant Harriet Flather from I Do Social. I find being able to see each post at a glance really important. It is organised by week and month and I don't try and post too much. 2-3 times a week is my average, with stories being slightly more fluid and of the moment. The key here is consistency.
Spend an hour or two dedicated to creating your festive out of office posts so you can simply hit send. Making sure your clients know when and they can contact you during this festive season is key. Maybe set up a festive automation to respond to emails or enquiries so people know when they are likely to hear from you.
2. WRAP UP THE PAST, LOOK TO THE FUTURE
Firstly make sure you manage the last few weeks carefully. If you are anything like me the term 'winding down for Christmas' is almost laughable. I think I am busier than ever trying to finish multiple jobs for both my businesses and fitting in as many Christmas crafts with my kids as possible before the break. So I have mapped out what I HAVE to get finished, those jobs that have absolute deadlines and prioritise what could be done in the new year. Once you know what you have to get done in the next 3.5 weeks you can start to schedule in your jobs and some time for planning ahead.
You can really go to town on this like I did last year (thanks covid - I had LOTS of time!) or you can simply have a quick review, but make sure after the break if you are having one you can hit the ground running.
I have an annual workflow spreadsheet which is open on my desktop continuously. This shows me what jobs are next, which are live, what stage they are at and when I need to be working on them. This is ever updating so theres not much I have to do there, just remove this years jobs which are complete.
I will project all the jobs next year on to my 2022 wall planner and loosely on a monthly sheet so I can actively see on the wall what jobs I have each month moving forwards. My blog post schedule and SEO tasks which have to be implemented each month will also be marked in here. These are my MUST DOs and immovable client deadlines. Fluid jobs can be saved for my weekly planner next year.
3. TIDY UP INSIDE AND OUT
There is nothing better than arriving at your workspace in January and finding it completely fuss free, its also great to review mentally what you have accomplished in the past 12 months to get those endorphins going.
Remove all clutter and debris from the previous year. Tidy your workspace. Clean it, hoover it and dust it. Throw away those old leaflets, samples, dried up pens. Sort the clutter cupboard/drawer (yes we've all got one). Organise any tools or materials you need for the first week back. Review what has been good from the last year, write a list of what you can be thankful for, where have you made great strides, what are your greatest successes and what have you learnt? Last year I made so many small steps in both businesses that I feel like i've climbed the highest of mountains without even realising. What a wonderful feeling to end the year on, and i'm ready to do it all again next year - but not until i've drunken 10 litres of Baileys and eaten a million pigs in blankets.
PLAN OF ACTION
~ Plan WHEN you want to be out of office
~ Create your festive out of office social posts so your customers know when and how to contact you (remember the few days after Christmas when you'll be in that food coma and NYE)
~ Set up an email automation
~ Transfer immovable client deadlines onto your 2022 wall planner / calendar
~ Plot the first few months titles for your blogs or write them if you can!
~ Plan your SEO schedule (submitting your sitemap, updating keywords etc..)
~ Clear your desk
~ Throw any old samples, clutter, old lists, old pens..
~ File any 2021 planners / lists get your new one ready ~ Hoover, wipe and dust every surface
~ Review where you have come in the last 12 months. ~ Pour that Baileys...
SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE
I'm off to implement the last 3 weeks of the year with force. I have a to do list as long as my arm but I will get it all done and it will feel wonderful when it is. My little ones are at the completely magical ages of 4 and 2 so I'm already getting the festive butterflies in my tummy seeing how excited they are!
Happy planning and I will see you all on the other side!
If updating or scheduling in a re-brand for your business is on your TO DO list then please do get in touch. I have some availability in the first quarter, summer is fully booked and then I am ok for Autumn and Winter at the moment but things are getting booked in each week so don't miss out. Happy to hop on a festive zoom call with an Advocat & Lemonade and a Christmas jumper to chat through your requirements.