Let’s talk about being realistic about the holidays.
I’m writing this on an airplane headed to Denver.
As I type, I’m also trying to get my heart rate down before we take off, because we had to sprint to the gate and almost missed our flight.
Not because we were late to the airport. We were two hours early, actually.
It’s because Matt and I were unrealistic about how much we could accomplish in two hours, and before we knew it, we went from working to dilly-dallying around the airport to sprinting, Starbucks in hand, to our gate as they announced the “final last call to Denver.”
(Yes, we are *those people* who arrive late to a flight with their peppermint lattes in hand).
As we boarded our flight, hot Starbucks splattered on our shirts like battle wounds, I looked at Matt and said, “Why does this feel like the story of our lives?”
Let me be clear: we’re not procrastinators.
I think we’re the opposite, and that’s our problem.
We are time-stuffers.
We are unrealistic about how much we can cram into two free hours, or a full work day, or before the end of the year.
Can anyone else relate?
Which led to my latest epiphany, just in time for me to *finally* have a topic to write to y’all this week: Being realistic about how much we can get done this holiday season.
For me, the year-end is full of normal life stuff like blizzards and snowy roads, how many folding chairs I’ll need to borrow for Friendsgiving, and waiting 10 hours in the Ticketmaster queue for Taylor Swift tickets (in case you care, I DID get them).
And on top of that, I have a far-too-ambitious list of work-related expectations that I “need to get done before the end of the year.”
I’ve set this deadline for myself because it sounds clean and simple: by January 1, I’ll have re-vamped my entire business, like it’s as easy as taking it in for a mani-pedi.
But if I play the tape forward, we all know how that ends.
In between my normal client work, I have holiday cookie parties and secret Santa swaps and family dinners with ugly sweaters and boxed wine.
If I try to jam in everything that’s on my my business-related “wish list” before the end of the year, I’ll get to Jan. 1 the same way I arrived at my flight just now: beads of sweat breaking through my forehead, latte splattered, out of breath and a little embarrassed.
And I don’t want to start off my year like that.
So, this post is more like a journal entry I’m writing as my plane is being de-iced, typing on my phone like I’m sending you a text message, phone light extra dim so I don’t disturb the guy sitting next to me.
You don’t have to get it all done by Jan. 1, and you shouldn’t try.
(I’m looking at you, business owner who has a written plan in place with a sentence that starts with “By 2023…,”).
My team and I will still be here next year, after the holidays, when you need us for a copy project. We’ll get it done quickly and on time.
Your brand photos don’t need to get done before the end of the year. The photographer you wanted to hire will still be around in 2023.
The new services you wanted to roll out by Jan. 1 can wait until Feb. or March if you’re out of margin right now.
Don’t rush just to meet that arbitrary Jan. 1 deadline if, like me, the flurry of the holiday season makes your end-of-year to-do list feel unrealistic.
We can talk after the new year, once you’re ready to roll up your sleeves with plenty of margin leftover.