Lesson from the holiday helper on how to avoid burnout

Here come the holidays, I can already smell the food and am drowning in unsorted gifts, wrapping paper, supplies, greeting cards and various craft projects. I almost like to think of it as my little fort of holiday magic as I sit in the middle of my floor surrounded by it all.

What I always look forward to the most are the scents of the food already being prepared the night before Christmas Eve. When those aromas hit my nose I know it’s officially the holidays. My mother creates the most Amazing meals, and even years after learning that Santa was a lie, I never stopped believing in magic because what my mother gets done is truly magical (she’s prepared holiday meals for over 75 people in a single event, if that’s not magic I’m not sure what is).
What they say about Italians rings true in this house, the amount of food prepared is unbelievable and the taste is undeniably mouthwateringly delicious! Not to mention, specifically requested each year and everyone has their favorite, whether it’s her signature sfincione (pizza), her perfect arancini (rice balls) or her incomparable tiramisu.

I don’t help much in the kitchen because my mother is like bull headed for a big red target letting nothing get in her way, so me stepping into her territory won’t work well, I’d just get in the way. Plus, if you left me in the kitchen to tend to 5-10 different meals, something is bound to burn and/or catch fire, though at least I haven’t lost a finger (yet)!
Not to mention, I don’t know how to mimic her meals quite yet. My mother is nothing short of a genius in the kitchen and I’m not one to disrupt her rhythm or endanger the quality of her geniusly constructed signature meals.

But does that mean she doesn’t ever ask for a helping hand during the holidays because she feels she is the only one who can do her magic?

When I was a child she would give me anything I could handle that was getting in the way of her natural rhythm, even things as simple as washing the vegetables, setting the tables or opening/closing cabinets when her hands were dirty. Every little thing was one less thing that slowed her down and bought her more time to concentrate on the items she does best.

As I got older and learned more skills, I would improve upon the tasks that were given to me; things like applying my crafting skills to table settings to make the table look extra special and dazzling for our guests or with any food related tasks I would improve anything that did not feel worthy of being placed on the same table as her masterpieces. Her genius was still the main dish of the event of course (pun intended) but now everything else surrounding her creations was complementing them rather than taking away from them.

Like my mother, many of my clients have the “I need to do it myself” attitude and everyday they are as burnt out as my mother on Christmas Eve. Ready to topple over but searching hard for the energy to pick up the pieces and do it all over again tomorrow. Their version of the dinner menu is whatever they had time to get onto the table before their guests arrived. Their natural process interrupted by annoying side items that need to get done in order to have a finished dinner. Luckily, holidays aren’t a daily thing so my mother gets a break from that stress but when it’s your business you end up repeating this pattern daily.

What interrupts your genius’ process? What would happen if you cleared your day of most of those interruptions? How much more could you get done and how much better would you feel at the end of the day?

Are there any areas you or your clients can use an upgrade, but you just don’t have the time to create? What would happen if you took your business to the next level? Could that equal more clients and more income?

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