‘Tis the season! Instead of presents or even coal, everyone’s getting stressed for the holidays. While we don’t work in retail or at the post office, our own client deadlines and deliverables start stacking up, and expectations begin skyrocketing as the holidays crawl closer. 

On the frontlines of the seasonal chaos, you find yourself searching for tips on effective stress management for holidays. 

We’ve seen it all. During this time of the year, maintaining your sanity is critical, especially if you’re making an impact on client brands. And because we’ve seen it all, we can testify that the holidays don’t have to be stressful. 

As impossible as it sounds, it can be done without dropping the ball on deadlines. 

So, forget the unsolicited advice and superficial holiday tips. Instead, center yourself with the masters of digital marketing this holiday season, who have totally been there, and totally done that.

Schedule Out in Advance

It may be crunch time, but if you haven’t been scheduling out projects, delegating and fulfilling in advance, you still have time. We may slightly judge you and wonder why you weren’t doing this in the first place, but we also love you and want to see you succeed. 

Plus, if you’re behind and doing your absolute best, we get it. Sometimes, there are factors you cannot change or influence, but all of us here at Adigma are proud of you for hanging in there. 

For those in digital marketing stuck behind the finish line, don’t give up, and whatever you do, do not rationalize further slacking and procrastinating. 

This very moment can provide digital marketers and advertisers the opportunity to buckle down, schedule out, catch up and get ahead before the final week of December. As a digital marketer, the majority of your job relies on your ability to be resourceful. What can you delegate, outsource, compartmentalize or schedule out? Or, you could try these on for size:

  • If you have trouble focusing, try opening up a new window and transferring the most pertinent projects into separate areas to knock them out one at a time.
  • For those who have trouble keeping track, try a project management system, a weekly planner or even Google Calendars.
  • And for those who are looking for the Fountain of Productivity (not to be confused with the Fountain of Youth), keep in mind that The Rule of 3 usually always holds true.

Remember, maintenance is still important. You may have a few days off, but check in on your account every once in a while, and please don’t ignore your boss when he calls. When you put in the time before the holiday season, you will usually be able to enjoy the holidays without stressing deadlines. Work hard now, and kick back later. 

Watch Your Words (And Your Own Expectations)

Like every relationship, digital marketing collaborations come with their own crazy, wonderful and often frustrating expectations. Even those who have been immersed in the digital marketing world for years still struggle with curating viable and sustainable expectations. But when October rolls around, and for the rest of the year following, creating and maintaining these boundaries with your clients becomes critical. 

So, why do we do this?

We like to get ahead of ourselves. When we chat with clients, we like to promise what we’d like to achieve rather than what we can actually deliver. Everyone in marketing has been guilty of leaning on aspirations, seeing the green long before we see the project all the way through. 

This Christmas, your clients would like to receive realistic deadlines from you. With their own projects, emergencies and obligations, clients rarely expect grandiose campaigns and impossible turnaround times between December 21 – January 1, so take it easy. 

You may be getting stressed this season, but don’t go around giving the gift of disappointment for the holidays this year. 

During your next round of calls, meetings and emails, be as transparent as possible with your clients and with your team. Set boundaries clearly and stick to your guns. In return, try not to expect much from your clients, teams or your own family, either. 

Everyone’s doing their best, so this year, be gracious in your own expectations.

Take Ownership of the Break

You’ve balanced your projects, your expectations and your checkbook (with all of that shopping, of course), but now it’s time to balance your schedule with some downtime. 

There are a ton of perks that come with digital marketing and advertising gigs, but sometimes the flexibility has its own downfalls. Digital marketers and content creators often find themselves logging on to chip away at their projects even on their days off. Upon to returning to work, they not only feel just as exhausted, but they also find that the vacation time wasn’t as productive — or relaxing — as they would have liked it to be. 

This is a massive issue in the modern workforce and can be found in industries across the spectrum. At WorkForce, Rob Whalen interviewed Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP partner Maggie Grover, who remarked, “Because people are so connected and working even when they’re technically off, they tend to take fewer full vacation days. So even if you cap a vacation bank at 1.5 or 2 times the annual accrual amount, the payout at the end of the employment relationship can still be significant.” 

Your employer provides PTO or even unlimited PTO — please use it. While we all still expect you to discern work emergencies, put your phone away, shut off your notifications and close your laptop. Taking time off is just as important as your own productivity

Despite your industry, professionals everywhere are usually provided with some pretty generous PTO. We know a lot of marketers reading this are fighting off panic attacks, but taking time off is just as important as your own productivity. 

So, do you want to come out on top after the holidays? Would you like to maintain your mental health and sanity? Do you often find it hard to achieve balance in your professional sphere? If so, then elevate your professional stamina by anticipating projects, setting boundaries and committing to your holiday. We’ll be checking in on your progress when you get back from the break.

Happy Holidays, and have a wonderful New Year from all of us here at Adigma.