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Another year is speeding to an end and everyone is looking forward to a relaxing festive season, taking a break from work and busy-ness. But before you shut up shop, there are a few things you need to start doing right now to prepare your business for the holiday season. And if you don’t see yourself being able to have a break, use the tips below to balance your time and prevent burn-out.

Hold Up – Can I Even Take a Break?

Some small business entrepreneurs believe that the world will stop spinning unless they’re online and responsive, which is why only 49% of small business owners took a full week’s vacation in 2013. If that’s you, I have good news for you. You can plan your vacation around your business with the help of Google Trends, an awesome tool will help you spot the trends in the market and help you predict when business will pick up. Use it to create a to-do-list of things you have to accomplish leading up to the season, and during.

Take a Break and Work Through the Season

If you feel that you have to be around to handle business trickling in, consider taking a break anyway so that you can avoid burnout, which will almost certainly harm your business in a different way.

Plan Your Workdays Better

One of the best things about being an entrepreneur is that you can generally take off as soon as your work is done. Therefore, if you come in earlier, your day is yours so much sooner. Most festivities of the season happen at night, which means you can take a short nap in the afternoon, after work, if need be.

Simple Celebrations are Sufficient

If you have employees and you want to celebrate with them, keep it simple. There’s no need for an elaborate party that takes months to plan. Of course, you want to show them how much you appreciate them, but you can do this by renting a room at a function venue or a restaurant, instead of in the office. This will save the effort of having to transform the office into a party venue that requires extensive clean up in the morning, and it also keeps the boundaries between work and play intact.

Be Thoughtful Towards Your Employees

It’s not only your schedule that is full this holiday season, so extend the same courtesy and thoughtfulness towards your employees. By allowing them to head out early a few times, or allowing them to take off if need be (provided all their work is done!), you will be able to keep the office filled with festive cheer.