How to Keep Your Cool During the Busiest Time of the Year

Q4 is definitely the busiest time of the year for any worker, be it a graphic designer or a car salesman. Those who suffer the most are those in service or operations because finishing the task on time is the least of their problems; handling needy clients and demanding bosses is the actual challenge. Plus the holidays are coming, your energy levels are reaching its lowest and you’ve been dreaming about the summer weather that is quickly fading. This is also the time when clients become super demanding believing that their needs are the most urgent. They expect special treatment and you need to make sure they feel as if they are getting it. And clients do notice if they are being put in the second place.

How to keep your cool and please your boss and your clients with a big, confident smile on your face — at least while talking to them? How do you to stay sane while exceeding yourself by doing more than it’s physically possible? Here are a few things to keep in mind to breeze through this hectic time without having a nervous breakdown:

1.Remember: it’s been like this every year — and you survived.

Don’t go on mindlessly switching between tasks while panicking and crying to your mom over the phone. Take a moment to observe the situation. More importantly, take a moment to observe yourself. Notice what is happening, why it is happening and see if anything should be changed about how you are handling the situation. Keeping your mindfulness is the most important thing during this period as you don’t have a lot of time to go back and correct your mistakes — so best just keep them from happening in the first place.

Don’t fake your composure, mean it. Go Buddhist — meditate. So, whenever you start feeling as if the roof is going to break on you and crush you into small pieces, quickly step away from your desk, find comfortable setting, close your eyes and take a deep sigh. Those Buddha monks know what they are doing. Reflect on what you are feeling, be aware of those knots in your stomach and also remind yourself that you’ve been in this situation before. One of the main teachings of Buddhism is that nothing lasts forever. Turn this into your mantra during the upcoming period.

2. Stand out by Going Personal

Q4 is your opportunity to stand apart from the crowd. Everyone falls for small, cute signs of attention. Christmas ginger cookies don’t cost much but will mean the world to your clients — it will show them that you care. Instead of sending typical “Merry Christmas, buy our product” email, show your affection by sending a handwritten Christmas card or finding what emotionally drives your prospects. Clients will appreciate the effort you invested. It is these kinds of gestures that get your clients to stick with you.

Making an extra effort to personalize your emails will mean a lot. Let’s face it; it has never been easier to find out just about anything about anyone, so use this to your business advantage. Take some minutes extra to send an article to your client that addresses a topic relevant to their specific case, or congratulate them for their recent house moving. Also, you don’t have to send a different email to every one of your clients; just changing the first sentence by including a private joke between you two will show the client that you do treat him as a person and not just another source of income.

3. Hide Your Doubts

Clients and bosses should not feel that you are losing it. So, in this period it is more important than ever to hide your insecurities. And this is not an easy thing to do. Any person experienced in dealing with people can easily sense a lack of confidence. The giveaways are there in your voice, facial expressions, an awkward gesture here and there or maybe just an “ummm” which was a bit too long. Right when you think that you’ve figured out and countered all the clues by studying guidebooks on business and body language, a little tinge of doubt will sneak in on you when you least expect it — and your voice will give it away. How to beat those little cues and clues, which tell your boss that maybe you don’t really have everything under control? By convincing yourself that you do. Again, deep breaths and affirmations are your best friends. Convince yourself by talking to yourself. Stand in front of that famous mirror and pretend to be explaining the situation to your boss or your clients. Notice everything — how you move, how you gesture, how you use your voice. If possible, record yourself. It might seem like too much work, but it’s well worth it. Being aware of how you come across in communication with others is a priceless tool.

4. Don’t Forget That You Are in a Team

It’s ok to be overwhelmed — all your colleagues, especially the more experienced ones, know that. So, don’t hesitate to ask your team for help. Likewise, offer help if you feel that any of your colleagues are losing it (provided that you can actually handle the task). Also, service workers have the best insight into clients’ needs and wants. So, if you think that you possess information, which might be valuable to other departments, share it with them — they will be grateful.

5. Don’t Give in to Sloppiness and Haste

It’s easy to give in to the urge to just wing it — the greater the number of tasks, the greater the chances to be messy. Also, it’s been proven that sloppiness ratio increases with the coming of holidays. You might be tempted to start multitasking. However, be aware that multitasking is the first trap to sloppy work. Make sure that you will indeed be saving time and increasing your efficiency and that later you won’t have to patch up the holes you made while ‘trying to make the most of every second’.

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