Have you had a break since the Christmas Holidays? I know that for a lot of us, we’ve put our head down and been working hard so we’re now looking forward to the spoils of two bank holidays – Good Friday and Easter Monday, to give us two short weeks. But how to cram five days work into four days? Will you be able to switch off from your business? And what happens if you are going away for longer or if you have to negotiate your time around your children’s activities?
Now is the time to consider whether you have the right support in place to allow you the luxury of switching off from work with the confidence that it will all be there when you get back!
So how will you cover this disruption in your normal work routine and what time management practices can you put in place to help you?
I’ve been thinking about this and I believe that it is all about attitude. If you are aware of this now, if you look at your diary now and review your goals and actions now, then you can manage your available time effectively. All of us allow work to “creep” at times … and when a holiday is looming this seems to happen more! There is always another email to respond to, another opportunity to explore – what you need to do is to have the discipline to stop. So over the next few days be mindful of the time that you have and what you are achieving in that time.
To help with your time management I would recommend the following:
- Avoid constantly checking your email just do it at the beginning, the middle and the end of the day. Switch off any beeps or notifications that your email or Facebook might make!
- Work in blocks of time – 1 hour or 90 minute chunks – when you are focussed on a task, divert your phone either to an answer phone or phone answering service.
- Stick to what MATTERS and FOCUS
- Don’t be distracted by social media and reading too many blogs (just the right ones!)
- Any good ideas write them down and come back to them later – or create a “swipe file” – a folder where you save useful articles or information – this can be a physical folder or a Word document on your computer.
On the days that you aren’t working, manage people’s expectations – you are in the service industry after all.
- Put an “out of office” message on your email, say that you will reply to their message after the Easter break on such and such day. My Top Tip – If you haven’t put an out of office message up before, find out how to do it NOW, rather than five minutes before you need to!
- Do the same with your telephone answerphone!
- If you have an active social media profile, schedule your messages using Hootsuite www.hootsuite.com or another similar platform to ensure that you are still sharing information during your holidays. Alicia Cowan’s Website has a number of great blog pages with tons of information to help you with this.
- Delegate! What about employing a VA to support you over your holiday time? See the article in The Guardian where I am interviewed about my use of VAs – I find them invaluable.
Let me know how you get on and enjoy a well earned rest over the Easter Holidays!