Get Into the September Zone
Ah, summer. It always takes so long to get here, and then leaves in the blink of an eye….along with structure, organization, and routine. So how do you motivate yourself to get into the September zone, especially if you have kids heading back to school? It’s a lot to manage but with some tips and strategies, I know you can do it.
So much of this preparation is parallel, let’s see how we can tackle our tasks across the board of life, work, and family.
September: The Season of Divide and Conquer
School supplies, office supplies. Dental appointments, annual check-ups, networking meetings, back-to-school nights. No matter what part of your life these things hail from, they all need to be addressed. First, decide the best place for you to create and USE lists. Do you prefer digital or written? Phone or laptop, planner or notebook? Make sure you have access to all the necessary tools to create your detailed lists.
Now for the strategy. If you’re ordering supplies online, can you also schedule any appointments online while you’re at your computer? Can you and your child see the dentist on the same day? Can your partner or oldest child put sandwiches and soup together for dinner while you’re at a networking event?
Delegation is not only for official employees. Team mentality is just as effective at home as it is in the office.
The Early Bird Catches the Worm
But you can’t be both the early bird and the night hawk. Either time is great for organizing your day ahead. Know thyself and achieve thy productivity potential. September is an easy time to overextend yourself. We’re eager to get back into things, and our excitement can easily turn to exhaustion if we don’t respect our own boundaries. And once the days are shorter and temperatures cool down, you need to choose your favorite bird’s habits to avoid burnout by October first.
Get Your Schedule in Shape
That first week of school, maybe even before that, you will get a flood of emails about sports, homework expectations, parent nights, fundraisers, and a plethora of other events that you will only survive by marking them in bold on your calendar. Really consider the ideal schedule for you to get optimal results.
Like your lists, decide what calendar works best for you. And if using both written and digital is what you prefer, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Ease on Down the Road
You might not want to hear this but, you may not be in “tip-top, back to business” shape. Consider starting with shorter days, making sure the weekends are a “no work” time zone so you can rest up for Monday. Add some time to each week until you’re working your maximum quality hour limit. It’s more about what you can do versus what you mess up because you ignored quitting time.
What goals do you plan to achieve before the end of the year? Have you set yourself up with systems that will support a balanced workload? Without clear processes, you can find yourself scrambling to complete the necessary tasks, which usually pushes you into the next year and past your deadline. Create a plan that steadily moves you forward each day.
Do you need to hire one or two more people for your team? Or maybe a virtual assistant is what you need at this time. Either way, be realistic about the training time you will need to bring them on board. You have to be organized if you expect them to be.
Create a Routine
Everyone does well when they know what’s coming. It’s also an excellent way to teach boundaries and moderation. Your routine at home should encompass a good night’s sleep and time to eat. When is it time for homework for the kids? Paying bills for you? What time do you shut the TV off? What time do your kids leave for school, and you for work? Once you work these details out, communicate the plan to everyone involved, and put it someplace where you can all see it and refer to it.
Prioritize, Organize, Delegate
There’s always more to do. What’s important is knowing what to do first. Once you clarify your priorities, put your plan in place. Then you can easily do one small task at a time. And if you get overwhelmed, or there’s more to do than you can handle, delegating to a teammate, virtual assistant, or family member will help tremendously.
It’s More Than Okay to Say NO
Remember when the rotten stepsisters tried to squeeze their big feet into Cinderella’s little shoe? There will be plenty of things that do not fit into your schedule. Things you don’t want or need to do. Think of this as your own personal scope creep policy – schedule enough time to get things done well, and don’t over-schedule yourself.
I help clients get back in the September zone every year so they can create consistent revenue and maintain a positive work culture, with less stress. Let’s talk about how I can help your business. Contact me for a 30-minute complimentary assessment.