It’s tough when you work for yourself – you’re never really offline, even during holiday periods. When everyone else is taking time off to celebrate, rest and reset over the Christmas break, you’re often still hard at work. But remember the benefits of running your own business or freelancing – the freedom and the flexibility. You can choose whether you work or not over the Christmas period, but if you choose to, or have to because your clients require it, here are some tips for you.

1. Set up Google alerts

Set up Google alerts for your business name, your clients and any keywords that will help you do your job. That way you’ll be notified if anything has been posted online during the festive period that is a red flag or something you should know about.

2. Schedule social media posts

This cannot be stressed enough – schedule your social media posts ahead of time. Of course, some posts need to be in real-time, but many can be written and scheduled ahead of time. Use HootsuiteBuffer or any other tool that works for you.

3. Set up Facebook auto-responders and email out of office

I’m in two minds about Facebook auto-responders. I do see their value, but I think customers see right through them, and know they’ve just been sent a ‘holder’ message which doesn’t address their question or concern. I do definitely think an out of office message stating something like “During the festive period I am checking email intermittently and will respond as soon as possible” is a good idea. If you decide on specific work hours you can list them in your out of office (and post them on your social media channels) and then feel confident that at least clients know when you will be likely to respond.

4. Keep on top of invoicing and paperwork in small spaces of time

Try doing your paperwork or invoicing early in the morning before anyone else is up (ok, this doesn’t work if you have young kids – they will ALWAYS be up before you haha!). Personally, working between 8pm and 10pm is best for me. At that time I can focus and have no other pressing commitments (such as small children, meetings, appointments, etc.)

5. Book time off in January

This is so you have something to look forward to, and motivation to keep you going. Down time is essential, and you have to scheduel it. Many businesses in Australia also have quieter periods in January, so it’s a good time.

I also want to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy Christmas and a very successful 2021! Lots of exciting things planned for my business next year, and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you. And if you are looking to focus on your marketing in the new year, definitely get in touch.