Maximising your time this Summer (and every busy Season!)
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Maximising your time this Summer (and every busy Season!)

by
Alison -VirtuAli Admin Solutions
Its Summertime and despite what Ella might tell us ‘the livin isn’t always easy ‘especially if you are business owner trying to juggle other commitments as well as still trying to make a livin! I’m based in Northern Ireland and traditionally most companies would have closed down around the period of 12th July for a fortnight but I’m working for clients in England and Germany where the holiday times differ. I don’t have children so don’t have to juggle childcare with work but we do have visitors staying in our house over various periods of the summer so it will be busy! I want to have flexibility to do some day trips with them and also just to go to the beach (5 minutes down the road) and simply switch off for a while by myself. Here are my top 10 tips to manage your time effectively this Summer and not burn yourself out trying to do everything! 1. Plan your time in advance Look at your calendar and the client work/family commitments /childcare responsibilities you have coming up and plan out how many hours you can work every day/week and block periods in your diary for client work/networking/business growth and admin. Ask them what way they are working and make sure important deadlines are met. 2. Communicate with your clients Be open and transparent with your clients when you are taking your holidays. If you are working reduced days or weeks because of childcare commitments, caring responsibilities for other family members or just because you want to take some down time and relax be sure to communicate that. Use whatever tool that works best for you both so that either party can login and see progress of projects if relevant (Asana board/Trello board/ Slack)! 3. Be realistic Be realistic with how much time you do actually have to work in your business and on these rare occasions the sun is shining (at least in Northern Ireland) you may want to switch that laptop off and go enjoy it. As the saying goes, if you have client deadlines to meet ‘ under promise and over deliver’ 4. Put on your out of office Make sure even if you are working reduced days that you have an automated out of office message on 1) your email 2) WhatsApp 3) Facebook messenger so at least if someone contacts you , they will get a reply and they will have a realistic idea of when you are going to get back to them. 5. Insert all your commitments in your electronic calendar With visitors coming and going/ juggling childcare schemes and playdates/jetting off on holidays, family rows about ‘why wasn’t that in the calendar’ can become all too frequent. My partner and I are very good at using our electronic calendars and invite each other as ‘optional invitees’ if we are out for long lunches, dinners, business meetings, vets’ appointments etc so there is always one of us in house to look after the dogs. 6. Create as many automations as you can -Set up an automated booking scheduler tool like Calendly (check out my setup service here) so people can easily see your availability (importance of following tip number 5!) and easily book an appointment with you. -Create an automated email after people sign up to your mailing list so clients still feel some kind of response and feel appreciated -If you are onboarding clients set up an email template for yourself so you can respond to them easily. 7. Plan down time for yourself With so many commitments going on, it can be all too easy to forget to actually take some down to yourself and do your favourite activity. For me as a bit of an introvert my dream scenario is to head to the beach or my local coffee shop and sit alone and chill for a few hours with a good magazine or easy summertime read. 8. Have Empathy Be mindful of people’s situation and the struggles they may be facing juggling everything. I don’t have kids and have to be honest that in the past I didn’t always have empathy when people said to me that they had to mind the kids. The pandemic and becoming the owner late in life of 2 dogs (who can also be very time demanding) has changed that and I’m much more understanding now. 9. When you switch off, really switch off When you have decided to take some time out, really do that. Switch off the laptop, switch off your phone, switch off all the notifications and let your brain just relax and wonder and take the world in at a slower pace! 10. Have fun The summertime is supposed to be a time for us to relax and recharge before going into the darker winter months. Benefit! Most importantly don’t feel guilty. Having a proper brain break, socialising, doing different activities is all fantastic anecdote to the stress of normal life and giving us renewed energy to take on the world. Watch out September we coming to take on the world!
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