If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been a little absent in the past month. Life has been crazy and I’m just going along or the ride. Between client events, visiting family, mini-vacations – it’s all good (actually great!) things, but it certainly makes keeping up with work a little difficult.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’ve built my business in this way so I have a life that provides me the freedom to do this. I want to be able to travel when I want, visit my family, and take time to spend with my husband that works with his busy schedule. All of that being said, I still have obligations to keep up with to maintain happy clients.
How do I maintain everything when I am just TOO busy to get it all done? Well, there are a few tips I’ve learned over the past eighteen months that I’ll share.
- Unless I am completely unplugging (like I did for my wedding and honeymoon), I will not always notify my clients that I will be traveling. This is a personal preference, but I do this for a few reasons. If I plan on hitting all of my deadlines I do not believe my clients are obligated to know I am traveling or a little extra busy. Putting clients on notice that you are going to be traveling just puts your timing and schedule under a microscope. Also, I need a little separation of work and personal life. Now that being said, if you think your travel schedule is going to impede your deadlines then yes, you must inform your clients of your schedule.
- Get as much done ahead of time as possible. This is obvious, but if you know you have tasks that will need to be completed while you will be traveling and they can be done prior and/or scheduled to be completed while you’re gone, then get those done! The more you can check off your list before you leave the less stress you have to worry about while you’re traveling. To be honest, I don’t even tell my clients I’ve completed the tasks early. I just simply complete them early and then let them know at the deadlines. I feel this maintains a realistic schedule for them and doesn’t open the door for them to add additional tasks to my workload.
- Eliminate personal business tasks. What weekly tasks do you complete for your own business that you can either skip for the time you’re traveling or simply catch up on when you return? These are tasks like organizing your expenses, writing blog posts, personal social media, etc. Chances are people won’t even notice you are away so just push them aside for the week. A little break is fine. You’ll catch up when you return!
- Work in strategic pockets of time. More than likely, while you are traveling or simply in a busy season, you won’t have 8 hours straight to sit and work. You will need to be flexible and block out small pockets of time, sometimes early in the morning or late at night, to strategically complete work. Plan out ahead of time what can you get done in 30 minutes, 1 hour, and what needs more time and focus. Complete your tasks in order of the pockets of time you have available. You may actually find yourself to be more efficient and effective working in this manner and transfer some of your regular work hours to strategic pockets of work blocks.
We all have seasons of our lives that make it really hard to keep to a regular schedule. Whether that be because of travel, family commitments, life events, etc, they all are important enough for us to make our work commitments work around them. If we didn’t want to have a work-life that allowed for flexibility then we would all be working a 9 to 5 at a corporate office, having to request time off in order to do any of these.
You can easily live a life of freedom and flexibility within your business if you just take some time to prepare and make a few sacrifices here and there. It’s so worth it, trust me.
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