Thanksgiving Day Time Management for Pet Sitters
You want to celebrate with friends and family, but you have a full roster of pets to see on Thanksgiving - help!
We are once again on the cusp of the holiday season where just about everyone gets busier, nerves get a little frazzled, and "to-do" lists get longer. It is a festive time and for those who run pet-sitting businesses, their holiday pet sitting rosters can get longer and busier too.
Planning for how you will handle all your pet sitting responsibilities and personal plans with family and friends should happen, in all practicality, starting in September. But, perhaps you didn't start in September and here it is just a week or so before the start of the holiday season and you are starting to feel the pressure of how you're going to do it all and be everywhere. Unless you are like St. Padre Pio, you probably haven't mastered the art of bi-location, so you'll have to start from where you are today and do what you can!
If you haven't done so yet, sit down sometime today or tomorrow and take a look at your schedule between now and the end of the year. Is it busy? Is it overly busy? Is your blood pressure starting to rise as you think about it?
It's time to make a plan. Time to make lemonades out of lemons so you can have a good holiday for yourself and complete your business responsibilities towards your furry and feather friends.
At this late date, you can still gain some control with good planning, self-discipline and good communication with your friends/family and clients.
First, you have to honor the commitments you've already scheduled. I know that is what you'd want to do anyway because you are an excellent pet sitter and would never shirk your responsibilities.
Make a detailed timed list of the day before Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Day, and the day after. Don't just list the clients and the times you have to be at their homes, but list your personal plans as well - such as when you will do prep for a dish if you are going out, or when you will prep your house for guests. Start with your "rise" time and be detailed until your bedtime. If you are not single, enlist the help of family members. Give everyone a mission and schedule to follow. Even have a family meeting asap to let them know how Thanksgiving will play out this year due to your pet sitting responsibilities.
Follow this list to the "T" to reduce stress and keep yourself on track.
On Thanksgiving Day keep your phone on you and pre-set alarms to go off for the times you have to leave your festivities to do your pet sitting rounds. It is almost impossible to avoid pet sitting cutting into your personal festivities unless you've planned things way in advance. But if you stay on schedule you'll have reduced stress and ample time with family and friends.
Each holiday that rolls around will give you more experience and wisdom to make the next year's holidays run even smoother.
The downside to this is if your Thanksgiving meal will not be local, but if driving is involved. For instance, for several years I tried to make it an hour away for a Thanksgiving meal and then would have to be there just a little while and then would have to head out even before the pie was served to head home for pet sitting runs. This was poor planning on my part.
I learned along the way, that it is important for a pet sitter to plan his/her availability for holidays in September (or earlier if you can) and let your clients know that you:
* won't be available at all
* you'll have limited spots available so they should book early
* or that you'll have normal pet sitting availability if you do not participate in a formal
If you have limited availability and the demand for more becomes clear, then see if you can reconsider your availability in a way that won't cause you too much stress.
Remember though that you are only human and can only do so much.
The thing about pet sitting that some don't take into consideration when starting up a business is that clients go away for holidays, so it's important to consider holidays when thinking of starting up a pet sitting business.
I hope these few tips will help you have a good and not overly busy Thanksgiving holiday!