Bugger me, it’s time to get back into work!
The holiday season is a cherished time for relaxation, celebration, and quality moments with loved ones. However, for business owners, the return to the daily routine after the holidays can be a challenging transition.
Approaching this period with the right mindset is crucial to set the tone for a successful year ahead. Below are a few simple strategies for mastering the post-holiday transition, focusing on reviewing time management, clarifying personal goals, and aligning your team.
Reflect on Time Management:
Returning to work can be overwhelming with feelings and thoughts of where to begin. The post-holiday fog can make it challenging to regain focus. To avoid a chaotic approach and kickstart a productive year, take a moment to reflect on how and where you spend your time over one week.
Stephen Covey in his 7 Habits of Highly Successful People popularised the Urgent & Import framework for reflecting on the use of our time. The simple Time Allocation Template, as used in the Owner Manager Program, can provide a structured starting point to where you’re spending your time.
The template helps you identify where you spend your time so you can address areas that need improvement and where to make necessary changes to structure your overall time wisely. It’s simple, but it’s a powerful point of reflection.
Clarify Your Own Ambitions:
Related to where you spend your time, the beginning of a new year is an ideal time to revisit and refine your own personal goals and role in the context of your business or job. Working hard becomes routine for business owners, but are you clear on your end goal? Ask yourself why you’re putting in the effort. What does your future role in the business look like?
During the Owner Manager Program, participants are encouraged to develop a future job description. If you start with the end in mind you can develop and take the necessary steps now to restructure your role.
Whether it’s working fewer hours, enjoying more leisure time, increasing your salary, or stepping back from decision-making, clarity on personal ambitions guides strategic business decisions.
If you want to give this exercise a go, use this handy template.
Align Your Team:
Once you’ve got a bit more clarity personally, it’s essential that you align your team with the overall objective and goals and get everyone excited for the year ahead.
February is a classic for team “retreats” to discuss the strategic plan, address concerns, and foster a sense of unity and motivation. Recognise that your team is likely experiencing similar challenges in getting back into productivity mode.
The challenge is that these sessions can become a “one hit wonder”. Everyone gets excited, but there is no consistent action plan or follow up to keep everyone moving forward on the same page.
If possible be clear on the overall vision, develop key strategies to achieve that vision and then key initiatives under each of those strategies that are time based (otherwise everything just drifts).
Use a productivity, task or project management tool to record and assign actions and map regular progress. Internally we use Clickup as it is cost effective and powerful, other similar systems include Asana, Trello or Monday. Consistent regular actions will get results.
Returning to work after the holiday break can be a challenging transition for everyone. In no time the holiday seems like a dream.
By reflecting on time management, clarifying your personal goals, and aligning your team, business owners can establish the foundation for a successful and enjoyable year ahead.
Finally map your time out for the year or next holiday so you’ve got something to look forward to. If you’re looking to do something different to super-charge your business and finally find balance between your business and “the rest of your life”, consider joining the Owner Manager Program or the Small Business Owner Program.
These life-changing programs are designed specifically for owners in private business who want to find business and personal growth (without the burnout).