The Secret To Surviving The Funeral Busy Season AND Enjoying The Holidays

December 13, 2015
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Article originally appeared on funeralOne

Well, it’s official… December is finally here, and so is the winter season that comes with it. For many people all over the country, this monthly change is the exciting, unofficial start to the holiday season and all of the festive cheer that it brings… presents, holiday parties, ice skating and grown men dressed like Santa. But for us funeral professionals, the change in season only means one thing… our most busy time of the year is here in full force.

Between the combination of icy weather and cold temperatures (among other unexpected life events), the winter months always seem to be among the most busy and chaotic in the funeral profession. Pair that with the combination of holiday planning, the flu season and the usual end-of-the-year madness, and it’s enough to make you want to trade in your holiday presents just for the chance at a little peace and quiet.

But this year, we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t take a holiday miracle to make it through the busy funeral season and actually come out on the other side with some holiday cheer. You just need a solid plan for success… and we’re here to give it to you! Here are six tips for surviving the busy season at your funeral home and actually making it home for the holidays.

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1. Delegate tasks that aren’t your strong suit.

We understand that there are a ton of day-to-day tasks that go into running a successful funeral home… but that doesn’t mean that you have to be responsible for all of those tasks yourself. Instead, you should follow the theory of working smarter, not harder. For example, most people find that they are actually more productive when they spend the majority of their time focused on tasks that they excel at, and delegate the rest to other employees who are best suited to the task.

Not crazy about updating your Facebook profile or your funeral blog? See if you have a social media-obsessed co-worker who would love to take on these updates. Are you always dreading your accounting or bookkeeping tasks? Hire an outside consultant to come help with these business tasks once a month. You’ll be amazed at how much more successful you become when you work on the tasks that you love.

Want even more ways to be productive, without doing more work? Check out our post from last week → 9 Tech Trends That Your Funeral Home Should Embrace.

2. Schedule 20 minutes of uninterrupted “me-time” into each day.

I know what you’re thinking when you read the sentence above… “This is the busiest time of the year and you want me to schedule ‘me time?!’” But, we’re being completely serious. Just taking 20 minutes out of your day to breathe, relax and give your brain a much-needed mental break will do wonders for your productivity. Think of it this way… would your families rather you spend an hour working with them at only a 60% energy level, or 40 minutes with them where you are giving 100% of your full, energetic attention? Giving yourself personal time to recharge each day will help you get back to that full 100%.

You can make this 20 minute personal break even more effective by completing an activity that stimulates your senses. For instance, give yourself a quick hand massage to relieve stress, or watch a funny video to boost your body’s endorphins. These simple relaxation techniques will do wonders for your brain power.

3. Put all of your tasks where you can see them.

Part of the reason why the holiday season can be so stressful in the funeral profession is because you’re not only balancing the busiest time of the year at your business (and all of the related tasks that come with it), but because you also have to keep your holiday chores top-of-mind as well. When you’re juggling that many balls in the air, it’s very easy to forget things or let balls drop.

To help make sure that you are keeping track of all of your daily to-do’s, spend the first 10 minutes of each morning putting all of your daily tasks down on paper. You will find that is much easier to balance your agenda when you can see everything that you need to do in one organized place. (This will also help you from going a little holiday crazy, as you struggle to remember everyone on your gift list.)

There are a ton of to-do list programs out there on the web that will help you get organized. Here at funeralOne, we use an awesome app called Trello to organize all of our tasks and activities. We can even use it to share our task lists with other employees, making sure that everyone stays in the loop with our company’s weekly to-dos.

4. Take care of your body.

This tip is going to take you back to your grade school days, but it really is the smallest trick that makes all the difference… wash your hands, try and get enough sleep, and take care of yourself. In a month filled with packed schedules, holiday events and more death calls than you could have predicted, the last thing you want to do is come down with a cold. Everything becomes a lot more of a struggle when you are sneezing, sniffling and feel like your head’s inside of a balloon. And when you work in a profession so full of hand-shaking, you never know when you might get struck down. So trust us… listen to what your mother has always told you and wash your hands like it’s going out of style.

5. Let your website do the leg work.

If you don’t have a website for your funeral home, it’s likely that you spend a large chunk of your day taking calls from families, answering questions about your services and pricing, giving out service information, and helping people understand what exactly you do at your funeral home. But did you know that all of these calls would be taken care of if you had a successful funeral home website? Just think of all the time you could get back in your day!

Our f1Connect website platform is specifically built for the families you serve. Every website we create is filled with pages and pages of educational information that explains the value of a funeral service, the different options families have when planning a funeral, the many reasons your families should consider pre-planning, and more. Our social memorial pages also help friends and family easily locate a loved one’s obituary information, service details and directions to your location, and allow them to send sympathy gifts ﹘ all without ever having to call your funeral home.

To get your funeral home started with f1Connect today (and start putting more free time back into your day), click here and request a demo.

6. Remember the true reason for the season.

Last, but certainly not least, try not to let the reason for the holiday season escape you. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the busy season, and start counting down until the holiday and New Year are behind us. But try and take a second each day to be thankful… thankful that you work in a profession that is so fulfilling, that you are lucky enough to go to work each day when so many people do not have the same opportunity, and that you have a family that you get to go home to for the holidays.

If we have learned anything from working in the funeral profession, it is that so many people are not granted these same small luxuries. So, no matter how crazy this winter season gets, try and remember the true reason for the season, and the true reason why you do what you. It will make all the difference.

How do you cope through the stress of the busy funeral season? Do you rely on helpful resources such as f1Connect to make your day more productive? Let us know in the comments below!

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ConnectingDirectors.com is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With ConnectingDirectors.com we have created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.
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