The Christmas season is well and truly upon us. The kids are out (or almost out) of school, there are relatives in town, friends are making plans. That’s enough to throw your best business intentions out of the window before we even start talking about the organization, the planning, the shopping…
How can you strike the balance of being present for your loved ones and all of those magical family moments, and at the same time keep an engaged presence online for that social media tribe of ideal customers you’ve spent all year nurturing?
If you’re not careful, it’s easy to find yourself trying to tune out the sound of the kids, high on sugar, bouncing off the walls while you attempt to reply to someone’s comment on your Instagram post with one hand and baste a turkey with the other.
Is it possible to be present at Christmas for both your family AND your online tribe? I like to think so, and I have 5 great tips to help you strike that balance:
Christmas is a busy time in life and in business. Now is not the time for testing new strategies or adopting new tactics. Prioritize which activities are most important and shelve the rest until after the holiday season.
If you are trying to maintain a presence on several social media platforms, now is the time to prioritize the two that work best for you and focus your efforts there. Get really real with yourself and set realistic expectations for how long you will have to dedicate to your online presence over the holidays.
If you are the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type when it comes to your online presence, now is the time to get organized. A social media scheduler is your friend in busy times.
Make a plan of what you will post and when over the holiday period and schedule them all now. It might be more work up front but it really takes the pressure off when festivities are in full swing and you could otherwise forget or feel uninspired to maintain your online presence. You can relax and be present with your family while your social media scheduler does the work for you.
Even if you have scheduled all your social media posts for the holiday period, it is still important to maintain some level of engagement with your online tribe. But this is where some discipline is required so you don’t get sucked into the social media black-hole (we’ve all been there) only to emerge two hours later laden with mom guilt at the realization you’ve totally checked out on your family.
A trick I use is to set a reminder on my phone twice a day. I have a hit list of exactly where I am going to engage. I set a timer for 15 minutes and I go in, engage and when the timer goes off, I get the heck out. Better yet is if you can plan your reminders to coincide with a natural lull in activities at home.
We are all attached to our phones these days, and in some respects, quite rightly so — they enable us to run our businesses from our palms. But the problem comes from the temptation to “just do this one more thing…”.
If we try to be present for our family and our business at the same time, we usually end not being truly present for either. And add to that the fact that switching back and forth between tasks is proven to decrease our productivity.
If you need to work over the holiday period (as many of us do!) I recommend trying to find pockets of time when there are no family commitments and the kids are asleep, being looked after by someone else or otherwise entertained. You can do bursts of focused work and be present for your business and the rest of the time be present for your family.
If you successfully segment family time and work time, you will find your energy less depleted and will be more engaged with the activity at hand.
Us moms have enough on our plates without adding some self-imposed guilt into the mix. We can be our own worst enemies when it comes to setting impossibly high standards for ourselves and then beating ourselves up when we fail to meet them. That’s why my main tip to striking the balance is to be a little easier on yourself.
So you forgot to record and post that Instagram story that would have been such a fun way to promote your business. So you snuck off to spend 10 minutes engaging with your tribe online and emerged an hour later bleary eyed not quite sure what happened. So you let your kids watch Elf for the second time today so you could get some emails sent.
It doesn’t have to look perfect. We’re all just muddling through the best we can. Give yourself the gift of compassion.
Cori Javid is a mother, wife and success coach for other mothers with online businesses who believes that when we thrive our businesses and our families thrive too. She specializes in social media, sales confidence and simplification, combining these skills to help her clients build flexible, fulfilling and profitable businesses.
After 10 years as a coach, trainer and mentor in an investment bank, she realized her passion was less about helping execs and more about helping moms like her. So she leveraged her skills and set up her own coaching business to help women define and then create success on their terms.
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