Nine Ways To Regain Order Amid Holiday Chaos

The holiday season is a joyous time of year—but for many companies, it can also be stressful and chaotic. Backed-up workloads, increased customer pressure and a general sense of urgency can all start to weigh on leaders and employees alike, leading to reduced productivity and low team morale.

So when work starts to feel too chaotic and overwhelm sets in, fall back on this advice from the members of Young Entrepreneur Council. Below, they each share one tip they have for regaining order amid holiday chaos and getting your team and your company back on track for the new year.

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1. Try Working In Sprints

I suggest avoiding chaos with one- or two-week sprints. For example, every Monday morning, we meet and see what needs to be done that week. We put it all in a Kanban board and start working on the sprint. One of the arguments against this approach is that it takes too much time in preparation, but part of keeping it organized is keeping the meetings short and going straight to the point, and we all know what to do and what direction we’re moving in. Another great advantage of this technique is that it encourages us, as a company and a team, to be more data-driven. We can ask, “What went well in the last sprint?” and “What can we do to be better this sprint?” It also helps us spot any blockers. In the chaotic holiday season, we like to stick to our data-driven ways and keep our eyes on our goals. – Alex Circei, Waydev

2. Realign With Your Goals

Chaos is the name of the game when running your own business. This means that you have to be prepared for anything to happen at any time. To be successful during hectic times, the key is to stay calm and realign yourself with your goals and what the most important tasks for your business at this exact moment are. Then, focus on tackling those first and worry about the rest later. Everything usually tends to fall into place eventually. Not losing focus and staying calm will help you navigate through those chaotic times like a pro. – Anna Anisin, DataScience.Salon

3. Share Company Successes With Your Team

One way to regain order during the holiday season is to share a glimpse of company success with your team. This could be sharing customers’ success stories or stories of how goals were met. This can help align the team’s success with the company’s and remind them of what they’re working toward. When people feel motivated and invested in the company’s success, they are more likely to do their best work and be less stressed. This is an effective tactic to prevent them from feeling overwhelmed by the holiday rush and can help you effectively regain order during the holiday or any other time of year. – Pratik Chaskar, Spectra

4. Leverage Task Management Tools

Task management makes or breaks the organization of a company. Thankfully, tools like ClickUp, Trello and more can help you track every task toward completion. Keep your team’s tasks in one place, organized by team function and with reasonable timelines. If you do proper task management, you can get ahead of the chaos by having visibility into all of the work that’s being done or has yet to be done. Organization is the cure to chaos. – Andy Karuza, NachoNacho

5. Make Your Calendar More Visible

Consider posting a large paper calendar in a highly trafficked location for November and December. Of course, most of the out-of-office time blocks, notifications, staff vacations and more should be available online. In fact, an online calendar should be your primary resource. However, we all know that when we glance quickly at online resources, we tend to zero in on our personal information. We can easily miss what’s going on with other staff. A large-format paper calendar reinforces what’s available online but also helps people grasp a larger vision. They quickly see who will and will not be available. They can see when projects are expected to be completed, the times of official companywide paid days off and more. It brings a different type of clarity and serves to jog the memory. – John Hall, Calendar

6. Train Your Team To Time Block

Time blocking is a tried-and-tested method that helps you get more done without having to acknowledge burnout or exhaustion. It is an effective time management strategy that facilitates planning and breeds productivity but not at the cost of work-life balance. Time blocking also enables your team to complete assigned tasks within set deadlines. This minimizes the likelihood of chaos and helps you maintain order. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

7. Define A Weekly Or Daily Work Plan

The holiday season is often a busy, stressful time for many companies, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Regaining order during this chaotic time comes down to creating a detailed weekly or daily work plan. This plan needs to include specific tasks that must be completed to stay on track and hit company sales goals for the holiday season. Having this type of plan will help your teams remain focused and organized. It will also make it far easier to track and view your progress at any given moment. This way, adjustments can be made before it’s too late to ensure goals are not just reached, but exceeded. Perhaps the biggest factor in feeling overwhelmed by the rush of the holidays is the expectations of team members. Defined plans calm nerves so they can stay on track. – Richard Fong, Disability Help

8. Find A Way To Center Yourself

I think solutions are extremely personal, so it’s about trying things, doing something and observing what helps you. For me, stopping what I’m doing and eating is No. 1. Beyond that, it’s walking or hiking, even if all I can do is walk around an office or go for a walk outside. Try to take your calls while you walk. Lately, I’ve been hiking through the woods near my house and doing a cold plunge in the river, drying off, meditating, then heading back home. If that seems impossible, don’t be discouraged—I’ve had my company for eight to nine years and finally can get into a routine like this. It can be a gradual process. Just start somewhere with something. Just like your first dollar or first customer was a start, start figuring yourself out and determine what works for you. – Chris Harris, BridgeTech

9. Make Time For Fun

It’s a shame when we have to spend the whole holiday season working to meet the demands of each day. Make time for parties and family for as many of your employees as possible and enjoy these things yourself. It’s a time of year to slow down, reflect and enjoy the company of people you love. Invite friends and family to the company holiday party, book the team’s favorite venue or order from their favorite restaurant. Don’t just let this time of year mean more stress; let it be the best thing it can be—a special season. – Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts

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