I know, I know. You saw the word “season” and you think I’m already talking about the holidays. Well, no, not specifically.
I’m talking about those time when you can see “busy” approaching on the horizon. Where you look ahead on the calendar and realize that next month is going to be NUTS. You’re instantly overwhelmed and not at all sure if you’ll make it through or not. How do you deal with that?
In the months of October, November and December, I literally slash my prices for my photography business in half. People are wanting photos for Christmas cards, and family is in town for those extended-family shots, and I feel that everyone should be able to capture memories for a reasonable price! In a normal month I do anywhere from 3-5 photo shoots, but in these three months I literally do DOZENS. Did I mention part of the deal is a less-than-a-week turnaround? Oh, and that I’m still working a full-time job and maintaining this blog while I’m doing all these photo shoots? Yeah. “BUSY” is the word!
So in September, I start prepping for the crazy that will become my life in the next three months. And I thought I’d share a few tips with everyone on Prepping for a Busy Season, just in case you see some crazy coming your way!
1. Plan FAR in advance
You may feel silly planning three months down the road, but trust me. When things start happening quickly, and it’s hard to think straight because there’s so much going on, you will be SO glad you did!
2. Use a calendar
I cannot stress this enough. Especially if you “think” you’ll remember. You won’t. You’ll forget, you’ll double-book, you’ll miss important things…PLEASE – use a calendar!
3. Write things down – immediately
Well, first of all, write things down. But seriously, write them down IMMEDIATELY. Because, as I said in point number one, even if you “think” you’ll remember, you won’t! And you’ll be agitated with yourself over it!
4. Knock out the to-do list
Yeah, you know the list. The list that has had the same projects on it for months, and you keep telling yourself, “I really need to take care of it.” KNOCK IT OUT. You’ll be able to function so much better without it hanging over your head!
5. Do as much as possible before-hand
You may feel weird getting your Christmas cards set to go out when it’s only October, or figuring out the Thanksgiving menu a month in advance, but this really will benefit you in the long run!
6. Warn those close to you
This is a big one. My conversation with my husband normally goes like this: “Okay, babe, it’s September. You remember what happens in October, November and December, right? So, let me just say in advance that I love you, and that if I’m frustrated or stressed it’s not because of you, it’s because of the situation, and that it will all pass eventually. And I’M probably gonna need some passes from you, too!”
And can I just brag on my husband a little bit? He really loves when I have dinner waiting for him when he comes home, but during the crazy time, he offers to do his own dinner and get me some, too. He asks if there is any laundry he can do. He looks over my shoulder at my to-do list and just starts working his way down it. He tells me he misses me, but understands and is thankful for a wife who is passionate about what she does.
It doesn’t get much better than that, folks!
7. Ask for help
There is NO SHAME IN ASKING FOR HELP! Chances are that there are a lot of people whom YOU give help to all year long – they would be happy to return the favor! You know the mom who’s kids you always watch? Ask her to watch yours! You know the friend at the office you’re always helping with projects? Ask him to take the lead on what you’re working on! And the neighbors who you’re always driving around when their car breaks down? Ask them if they could run a couple of errands for you!
Don’t forget your family! Ask for help from your husband and your kids! It’s a great opportunity to let your husband know that he’s needed, and to teach your kids some new skills and let them know they are essential to the family as a whole!
There will always be things that no one BUT you can do. And that’s to be expected. But, for the things someone else can do, just ask for help!
8. Take care of yourself
Do your very best to eat healthy, take all your vitamins, sleep well and exercise. The last thing you want in the midst of crazy is to be sick. You have to take care of yourself so you can take care of crazy! (This includes “just saying no” to doing anything more than what you already have to do and not overextending yourself!)
9. Plan a break
If you know you’ll get burnt out at a certain point, schedule in what I call a “Day of Nothing” and do as little as possible on that day! Sleep, watch movies, read…whatever you do to keep yourself in a calm and peaceful state, do it! And also, look past the crazy and schedule in a break to reward yourself with when it’s all over! (For instance, I take off from the photography biz for the entire month of January, and this time, we will even be on vacation in the mountains for a week out of that month! It’s gonna be a great reward, I can feel it!)
So there you have it. Nine tips to combat crazy when you see it headed in your direction!
Do you have any other tips you’d like to add? I’d love to hear them!
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me atKristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!