We’re all looking forward to this summer. It’s our first sunny season free of restrictions that confined us to our houses and gardens, and we’re excited to feel the sun on our faces without worrying about mask shaped tan lines.
What we definitely don’t want to happen, however, is have our new sun-kissed glow dulled by our businesses. In the summer months, things can get incredibly busy, and if we’re not careful, we run the risk of getting snowed under (wrong season we know, but roll with it!)
To keep your business running smoothly throughout the next few months, our Virtual Assistants have shared their top business tips for a successful summer.
Our Tips for a Successful Summer
Plan your Time Effectively
As we’ve been told quite frequently over the last few months, we all have the same 24 hours in a day (if you know, you know!). It’s also been reinforced that to be successful, we pretty much need to be working flat out for all of those hours or risk failure.
While we’re certainly not against hard work, we are against burnout. Making the most of your days is all about planning your time effectively and understanding what you can and can’t fit in. If you’re constantly trying to cram your days with time-consuming tasks, you’ll find that you’re consistently chasing your tail and will spend 90% of your time playing catch up.
Instead, prioritise one or two time-consuming tasks per day, and fit smaller, five-minute tasks around them. This way, you’ll be able to give 100% of attention to large tasks without worrying about time running out. You won’t feel the need to rush, but you will feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of your day when you’re able to tick off your to-do list in full.
Here at The Edwards Company, some of our team like to work by colour-coded schedule. They allot themselves a number of hours for particular tasks and green it off once complete. This helps them to keep on schedule and ensures they’re fully focused. The key here is to allow yourself more time than you think you’ll need for more time-consuming tasks as it works to take the pressure off and makes you feel motivated when you finish ahead of time.
We all have the same 24 hours in the day but planning your time effectively for just a few of them is far more beneficial than working flat out all day, every day – trust us!
Prioritise Important Tasks
When you’re running a business, it can be challenging to know where to start with your to-do list. You may feel that all tasks, big or small, are of equal importance and you may find it difficult to prioritise.
However, without prioritising specific tasks, you run the risk of hopping from one to another without being able to give them your full focus. At the end of the day, you’ll be faced with a list of half-finished tasks that will need to be carried over to your already packed to-do list for the next day.
Instead, consider which tasks are urgent. These may be admin tasks with deadlines that could have a knock-on impact on your business and its stakeholders if not completed straight away. Tasks like this should be at the top of your list. Other tasks, like content creation, can be done at a later date when you’ve got plenty of time to focus on them.
Understanding that all tasks are important, but not all tasks are urgent is the key here. This will help you to organise your days and keep on top of things behind the scenes.
Do Things in Advance where Possible
The beauty of modern technology means that a lot of the time, you can schedule things in advance. The area of your business that is most likely to benefit from this is content creation. Gone are the days when you had to think of an idea, create said idea and post it all in the same hour every single day.
Now, you can create a shed load of content and schedule it way in advance so it doesn’t interfere with all the other tasks you need to do on a daily basis that can’t be scheduled ahead of time.
Distraction is the root of all procrastination!
Let’s face it – if there’s social media to scroll, we’ll scroll it. Office chats to have? We’re having them. Cups of tea to make? We’ll be in the kitchen. Focusing solely on work all day is nearly impossible, and it definitely doesn’t have to be the case in order for you to be successful. But, if you want to be a little more effective with your time, it may be wise to keep distractions to a minimum.
Decide on a few hours in the day where you will cut out distractions altogether. Turn off phone and email notifications and commit to the task at hand. You may only need to do this for a short time, but you’ll find it far easier to get stuck in when other options are taken away, and the task will be completed in half the time.
Once your time is up, feel free to be distracted! It’s good to give your brain a bit of a break every now and again with a quick social media scroll or a coffee break, as long as you set aside time to focus solely on your tasks too.
Don’t struggle with tasks that aren’t in your area of expertise
While we can all excel in a number of areas, we can’t be experts at absolutely everything we come across. For example, our content creation team would feel incredibly displaced if we asked them to work a day with our credit control team – and vice versa!
Struggling to complete tasks that aren’t in your area of expertise can be incredibly time-consuming and may end up causing feelings of frustration. You may even feel demotivated to complete the task at all.
Instead of struggling through this process and having to plough on with it anyway, the best thing you can do to ensure a successful summer for your business is to delegate the tasks you don’t find easy.
If you’ve got a large team, there may be skilled members who can take on those tasks for you, completing them in half the time and ensuring they’re to a high standard. Or, if your team is already snowed under or you’re a small business, you may want to consider delegating externally.
For example, we take on complex tasks like credit control or content creation for companies who haven’t got time to struggle through them.
Your time is best spent doing what you do best – don’t waste it doing something someone else could do better.
A Successful Summer (and beyond!)
By implementing tips like minimising distractions, creating schedules to stick to, prioritising essential tasks and delegating tasks that aren’t in your area of expertise, you’ll be setting yourself up for a successful summer.
You’ll ensure vital tasks are completed on time, you won’t have a to-do list that only seems to get longer instead of shorter, and you’ll feel calm, in control and motivated to push your business to the next level.
If you’re looking for some external support throughout the summer, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We provide support services in content creation, credit control, general admin and data entry.