How to Acheive the Perfect Work-Life Balance During the Holidays

Achieving work-life balance is difficult any time of the year, but it’s especially tough to do during the holidays. Here’s how to pull it off.

Achieving that perfect balance of work and life is difficult any time of the year, but between the festive parties, wrapping presents, and helping out with your kid’s holiday pageant, it’s especially difficult to balance at this time of year. When the scale has a tendency to lean a little more towards the “life” side of things, how do you keep your work a priority?

Put everything on the same calendar.

Typically, the number one rule of keeping work life and personal life separate is to leave work at work and leave home at home. Though, during this time of year, with so many things going on, it’s easier and more efficient to just keep everything in one place. If you have an elementary school recital you need to attend in the middle of a Friday, you need to make sure it doesn’t conflict with any big projects or meetings also on that day. Keep all of your obligations on one calendar. Mark work obligations, like meetings, presentations, and big assignments, in one color, and personal obligations in another color.

Take care of your bigger tasks in the morning.

Though it can sometimes take a little time to warm up in the mornings, it’ll benefit you in the long run to take care of your bigger projects first thing in the morning.

If you’re one of those people who have a little trouble operating at full speed in the morning, I suggest trying to get “warmed up” for the day before even getting to the office.Though it sounds counterproductive to the night owls of the world, wake up a little earlier. Instead of rushing in the morning to try and get as much sleep as possible, wake up a little earlier to enjoy a cup of coffee at home, watch the news, read the paper, get into a nice little routine to make you feel awake and ready for the day. Then once at work, tackle all of your big tasks leaving the afternoon free if you need to head out early to pick up the kids or prep the house for a party.

Let everyone know when you’re gone.

Because everyone has a crazy schedule this time of year, communication is key. As the boss, you need to give people a heads up as to when you’ll be gone because you need to make sure everything gets done! Even the boss needs some help every now and then. Clearly and thoroughly assign duties to your employees on the days you need to miss, and let everyone know that if they need to get a hold of you to mark their emails with an “urgent” notification.

Communication between employees and yourself is the only way to tackle this crazy season. As long as you’re making sure all of the work gets done, it’s very possible to cater to everyone’s individual holiday schedules.

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.

3 Holiday Promotion Ideas for Your Small Business

In this post, our friends at BoostSuite share three great holidays promotion ideas for your small business that can help you finish the year strong. Check it out!

This guest post is brought to you by BoostSuite, the easiest way to build more website traffic and get more marketing conversions.

Happy Holidays! I hope you’ve been nice this year and that you get everything that was on your list.

Maybe you’ve been a bit naughty and decided to wait until the last minute to start planning your small business’s holiday promotion? Don’t fret. You’re not alone. You still have some time, but you’ll have to get started right away.

To help, I’m going to share three effective holiday promotion ideas for your small business that won’t take you too long to implement.

I know this is a busy time of year for you so I’m going to keep this post short and sweet so you can take action immediately!

1. Create a Landing Page and Provide Something Valuable

The holidays represent a great opportunity to deploy custom landing pages to build your customer/user/subscriber base. The page shouldn’t be extremely complicated. Don’t include superfluous info or clutter. It should simply describe the offer and contain a short contact form for visitors to submit.

I say “short” because the more information you ask for, the lower the likelihood your visitors will submit the form. Only ask for the information you need to get them in the door. Landing pages can combine lead forms with incentives like special deals, coupons and downloads. This makes them an ideal fit for the holidays, where consumers are intrigued by offers and willing to interact with you to get something extra.

Be sure to set up a redirect to a thank-you page where you thank them for their information and include social sharing features. Ask these new converts to like the page or tweet it using your special holiday promotion hashtag to alert other similar people.

2. Launch a Loyalty Program

This time of year is a great opportunity to get customer information and build loyalty amongst your customers. Don’t make things about your company, make it about your customers. Give them as many loyalty options as possible.

Each customer is different. Some don’t want to be called, some don’t want to be emailed, some would rather interact via social media outlets. You have to understand your customers and communicate with them on their terms. I recommend a free gift with purchase over a discount, since you’re not setting your goods at a lower price in people’s minds. Try offering something for signing up and just being in your club.

The Starbucks Card app encourages repeat buying; it allows people with 24 drink purchases to achieve Gold level. But anyone using the app benefits from free downloads and a free drink on their birthday.

3. Run a Contest on Social Media

One of my favorite forms of the social media contest is the caption contest. Post a funny picture of someone/something at your office then ask followers to write the best caption for your photo and offer some sort of reward for the winner.

This is a super-easy one, as the winner doesn’t actually have to be chosen by you. You can leave it up to your audience to choose the winner through likes or retweets!

Additionally, contests can drive users to “Like” your page, setting up an additional communication channel to reach them in the future. People who like your page will see your content via paid or organic posts, and you can reach friends of people who like your page with ad targeting.

Get Started Creating Your Holiday Promotion Today!

You still have a couple weeks to take advantage of the holiday buying spirit. Don’t let your competitors steal all of your holiday prospects and business! Be a busy little elf and build your promotion strong for maximum effectiveness.

Try offering something valuable with a custom landing page, running a loyalty program, or sponsoring a social media contest. Have you done any of these in the past? What was your experience with them?

Do you have any other holiday promotion ideas that small businesses can easily implement? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments!

Ryan Kettler is Director of Communications for BoostSuite. Ryan is an internet marketing zealot, sports fanatic, devoted runner, avid golfer, beer connoisseur, and live music enthusiast. When he’s not helping BoostSuite customers he can be found running 5ks, sampling IPAs, and cheering on his North Carolina State Wolfpack.

Shoeboxed Organized Fridays: “How can I stay organized during the holidays?”

Every Friday Shoeboxed speaks with organizational guru Samantha Bennett and asks her a question submitted by one of our users.

“Samantha, how can I stay organized during the Holidays?”

— John, Louisville, KY

Do you have an organizational question you want answered? Submit it below!