Taking Time Off & Managing Stress During the Holidays
Working on your own schedule, means you get to truly enjoy the holidays and really take a breather from work. Right? So wrong. As an agent, taking time for yourself, especially during the holidays when others do have holidays and vacation days can be especially hard. Just like any business decision; everyone decides what works best with their clients, competition, lifestyle, family commitments, etc. However you decide to spend your holiday time, take a look at our tips below for taking care of yourself this holiday season!
Schedule Holiday Fun
Schedule holiday fun? While it may sound a little counterintuitive, having a plan and sticking to it gives ease to decision making later on. Plus, scheduling out your time helps you get the best of both worlds. You’re on when you’re on and can truly get “in the zone” and get some serious work done with your allotted work time, knowing that later you can be off and truly in the moment for your holiday fun!
Set Time Limits
Holiday timing can make it easier to catch up with clients if they aren’t at work. However, that means that they have much more time than usual. Be careful with pouring too much time into phone calls and meetings leading up to the holidays. For phone calls, try setting a timer and pick a reasonable time limit that you force yourself to abide by, or for meetings set a hard cutoff time. Trying to get a little work in before family time the rest of the day? Pick a time range you’re going to stick to, and when you hit that time put your work stuff away. Setting a predetermined “step away” time helps you actually do so.
Communicate Your Availability
Communicate your availability to clients ahead of time (and often). Nothing is worse than the feeling of clients trying to reach you while you are trying to finally take time off. The best part of this is that once you know you don’t have to be available you can step away from your smartphone and get a TRUE break. *If there is absolutely no way you can step away from a client, or are going somewhere or doing something in that communication is just not possible, pair with a fellow agent to help each other out with critical client communication. Disclaimer: While finding the right partner can take some time through trial and error, finding a match can be a total game-changer when it comes to taking time off.
Work Ahead of Schedule
Think taking a vacation is just not possible? Think again! It’s ALL about the planning. If you know you want to take time off (which you should), write down everything you would realistically need to get done during that time period. Then, assuming you are doing this earlier than the day before (why planning ahead is essential!), divide the tasks up you need to do and spread across the days leading up to the time off. While it may feel like a little extra work in the moment, if it’s the difference between taking a vacation or not, we say go for it!
Remember That You Deserve Time Off
Remind yourself of why you chose a job that’s flexible. You wanted the flexibility to do the very things that you are now stressed out about fitting in your schedule. Pat yourself on the back from living out the career you once dreamed of, and take that time off! Tell yourself that taking time to unwind and recharge is not just taking time “off” but that it’s an investment in yourself and your work. Remember that taking time off is essential for stress reduction and happiness in your work!