Summer is right around the corner and sometimes that means your work schedule can go all over the place. Kids will be out of school and your summer may be full of travel, events, and other activities.
When you run your own business, you have the freedom to choose your own schedule. This can be both a blessing and a curse in this sense. Whether you’re trying to work during the summer or not, use these tips to help establish a solid and productive workflow.
Determine Your Work Hours Upfront
One thing I’ve found so helpful is determining how many hours I want to work each day. Some people make to-do lists, but I like to schedule my work in time blocks because it affects my efficiency level. For example, if I know I have 8 hours per day to work, I may get a lot done but will likely linger on some tasks for longer.
If I give myself 4 hours, I’ll often work more efficiently and plan accordingly to make the most of my time. While some days may be 4 hours days while others allow 8 hours of work, it’s important to determine how many work hours you have each week so you know what you have to work with upfront.
Plan Your Days in Advance
After you determine your available work hours each week, go ahead and plan your days in detail so you know exactly what you’re doing and when. I like to use a planner to do this but you can also use a calendar system, spreadsheet, project management tool, or any other resource.
Plan out what you’ll accomplish each day and identify your priorities. Don’t forget to also plan out breaks and other activities. You don’t want to waste time trying to figure out what you need to do and when. Instead, just plan ahead and get it done.
Take Care of the Toughest Task First
You’ve probably heard of this one before and that’s because it really works. If you procrastinate and push things back, it’s likely because you don’t feel like taking on a challenging task at the moment. Do yourself a favor and knock out those big and challenging tasks first thing each day.
The great part about doing this is you will likely lock yourself into a state of intense focus which will allow you to establish a solid and productive workflow for the time being.
Communicate with Others to Eliminate Distractions
Distractions are common and can easily disrupt your workflow. While you can do a pretty good j0b of minimizing the distractions you have control over, eliminating the distractions that other people create can be pretty challenging.
Be sure to communicate with others to eliminate distractions so you can establish a solid and productive workflow even when it’s tough. This may involve postponing or schedule meetings with colleagues around other important work tasks, telling friends and family when you’ll be unavailable, and setting up an auto-responder for your email to filter through messages that could throw you off track during the day.
Establishing a solid and productive workflow during the busier seasons can be difficult if you don’t have a plan and allow your schedule to be too flexible. Use these tips to help you focus and get more done and balance your day accordingly.