‘Tis the season for holiday busyness! As yoga teachers it’s important for us to stay grounded, stay focused, and stay in our flow even when life gets hectic. Here are 5 helpful tips to stay productive and minimize overwhelm and stress this holiday season.
1. Make a schedule
When you have a running to-do list in your head, it can be easy to get bogged down trying to get EVERYTHING done, yet feeling like you aren’t getting ANYTHING done. Too much multi-tasking can leave you feeling not only less productive, but also depleted.
Instead, write out your to-do list and schedule time for each task. Make sure to prioritize what’s most essential and give yourself enough time (we get into trouble when we underestimate the amount of time things take!).
So if you need to plan your classes, do your social media posts, make your playlists, and write a newsletter, carve out specific time frames on your calendar for each task. Then give yourself the satisfaction of crossing things off the list when you finish!
2. Batch it up!
I’m a longtime procrastinator, and for many years I felt like I worked best under pressure. But as I’ve gotten older, I realize this habit of doing things last minute no longer serves me (and maybe it never did). And as a new mom, I’m now fully aware that waiting till the last minute can create so much stress, not only for me, but for everyone around me!
One great example of how to batch your work is to schedule your Facebook posts for the week ahead. Did you know you can do this? Many people don’t. On your Facebook business page you can create your posts and then designate the days/times you want to post them. This can save you so much time! Instead of scrambling each day to come up with a new post, take 30 minutes each week to create and schedule your FB content. It’s so much easier to get your posts done when you are already in the mood and in the groove of doing it.
Another way to batch ahead is to write out several class plans in one sitting. So whether you are planning for a retreat week or a month long series of classes, sit down to plan out a series of classes when you are feeling inspired and focused. This not only saves time and energy, but can also create more fluidity in your theming from one class to the next.
3. Keep up your practice
This seems like a no-brainer. We all know how important it is to keep up with our own yoga practice. But during busy times, sometimes we get a little off track. Keeping up with your yoga actually relates back to #1- Put it on the schedule! If it’s on the schedule, it’s more likely to happen. And if your days are really packed, you can schedule in shorter practice times (like 15-30 minutes instead of an hour). Keeping up with your yoga will help make the stresses of the holidays so much more manageable.
4. Have your systems up and running for the New Year
I know for myself and most yoga studios, January is the busiest time of year. People are done with the holidays and ready to get back on track. New Year’s resolutions for health and wellness get folks amped about doing yoga, both for new students and for re-energized experienced students. I’ve learned through the years that I need to get all my ducks in a row with my business before January. Otherwise I’ll constantly be playing catch-up during my busiest teaching time of year.
Even though December is a busy month for social stuff, it tends to be one of my slowest months of the year for teaching. If this is the case for you, it’s a great time to organize your schedule and make a plan for the coming months (classes, workshops, retreats, etc). Take an overall look at your calendar, make sure you have enough downtime scheduled, enough time for office work, enough time for your own practice, and enough time between appointments so that even with a full schedule you can flow with a feeling of spaciousness.
And speaking of office work, be sure to have your financial records organized for tax season (believe me, you don’t want to wait until April). Update your website with any new info. Update your Facebook page. Map out your plan for staying connected to your students (email marketing, blog posts, etc).
5. When you take time off, really take it off!
I admit, I'm guilty of trying to get things done for my business when I'm supposed to be "off" (i.e catching up on emails, updating my website, sending out holiday promotions). And sometimes it’s necessary to do so. But working when you're supposed to be on vacation totally takes away from being present and enjoying your time, and only creates burn-out in the long run!
Taking real time off from work is so essential to your well-being. It’s like going to a yoga class, leaving your cell phone and computer behind, and allowing yourself to be present for that hour. If you answer text messages throughout class, you won’t leave feeling relaxed and centered. So whether it’s a day or a week, be sure to give yourself some real, well-deserved breaks so you can come back feeling renewed.
We want to hear from YOU now:
Which of these 5 tips do you think will help you stay most productive this holiday season? Do you have some tips of your own? Please share with us in the comments below!