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5 Easy Ways Entrepreneurs Destress During the Holidays

5 Easy Ways Entrepreneurs Destress During the Holidays
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With many major holidays happening, entrepreneurs may find themselves stressing out. With the rush of preparing for the end of the year, having major holiday sales, and managing the to-dos of the holiday season, the end of year can be a very stressful time for entrepreneurs—especially those who are stretched to capacity running a successful business and are now trying to squeeze the additional activities of the holiday season.

As an entrepreneur, there is always something you can be working on to grow and improve your businesses. You wear many hats and often take care of the sales, marketing, accounting, and other duties for your business.

For many businesses, the holidays bring more customers in the door, and sales are at their highest levels for the year. This means you have to be on top of your game to make the most of the opportunities. In order to manage your work life with your family life, we need to keep a few items in check.

To help entrepreneurs destress, the tips included in this blog post are simple and easy to do.

1. They slow down.

“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.”

~Lily Tomlin~

During the holidays, it’s very easy to let things speed past you and get out of control. Sometimes it might just take you stepping back and allowing things to slow down. What does this look like? Good question:

  • Make sure to that you allow yourself to take off time from working your business on the holidays.
  • If you have a team, give them time off during the holidays too.
  • Look at cutting back the hours that you work during a holiday week so that you can slow down.
  • Spend time with family and friends so that you can remember the importance of the holidays.

2. They let it go.

“Give your stress wings and let it fly away.”

~Terri Guillemets~

When you hold in all of your stress, in can affect your mind, body, and soul. Give yourself permission to let go of the stress. As you do this, you can open yourself to healing.

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One of the ways you can let it go is by taking a break. According to “The Importance of Breaks At Work”:

“Break laws aren’t just there to make employers take it easy on their workers, they are there for the good of employees. Did you know even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity up to 13%? Or that a 15 second break from staring at your computer screen every ten minutes can reduce your fatigue 50%?”

3. They plan smart.

“God didn’t do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?”

~Author Unknown~

Putting plans in place that can help you keep your business running smoothly during the holidays is very important. The plans could include time when you are closed, or special sales for VIP customers, or even team celebration time.

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During the holidays, normally my team and I shut down our offices. We alert our customers to let them know when we will be open and closed. Having this plan in place, gives me and my team time off and it allows my customers to prepare accordingly.

4. They think things through.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”

~William James~

Stress comes from fear that things are not going to work out. If you choose to believe things will work out, you’ll be a lot more comfortable in your decisions. You’ll be able to stay in the moment, and focus on what’s right ahead of you. Stress is a choice, one we don’t have to choose.

You have everything you need—all the joy and sadness you have experienced has made you who you are and brought you right to this place. Eliminate the bad, live in the good and don’t allow being overwhelmed to rob you of your happiness that you could be living in. Take a moment for yourself to rejuvenate and choose to think on health, well-being and prosperity.

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5. They take “me time.”

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”

~Ovid~

When you take “me time,” it helps you incorporate free time into your schedule where you spend time taking care of yourself. How well are you doing at taking rest when it is required? Sometimes it boils down to making choices that require eliminating some things to maintain other things. Prioritizing can be a lifesaving practice when done regularly and mindfully.

Breaks are necessary for you to regain perspective, be more creative and ultimately feel good about yourself and the way life is going.  Sometimes what you need is to do is rest. I use Pomodoro to manage my time so that I have a 25 minute timer that buzzes me to take a break. Then I can use it to time my breaks. It all about self-care by taking “me time.”

Featured photo credit: 52.HolidayWindows.Georgetown.WDC.19December2013 by Elvert Barnes via Flickr via flickr.com

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Kim Beasley

CEO/Business Visibility Strategist

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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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