I love the fall – it’s my favourite season. I love the beautiful colours, the cooler evenings (with no mosquitoes to ruin them for me) and the energy in the air with everyone winding things up after the slower-paced summer.
Despite my love affair with this season, it’s also a chaotic and dreaded time for me. The dread starts with Halloween. From the first day of school until Halloween, my kids are planning their outfits, who they’ll go trick or treating with and how much candy they’ll consume. It drives me crazy. I’m aptly called the Fun Police!
Apart from Halloween, everything around business starts up again – and my scheduling skills are put into practice. Another reason to love fall season! Apart from having my own business schedule, I organize my family’s schedule.
I love my calendar and would be lost without it. I get very excited at being able to fill all calendar spaces. It’s important to use it wisely and not let it turn into a curse. What follows are some tips on how to schedule, so that you are motivated to work and keep the line between work and family clear and focused.
- Set yourself goals each day. Bite-sized chunks. Less is more in this case. Build in buffers so that you don’t have back-to-back meetings. Give yourself time for traveling to meetings, eating lunch and going to the washroom!
- Manage your time. Think about what you want to, what you need to do and how much time you really have to do it in. Be realistic when assessing and scheduling your time.
- Play outside. Nothing beats an early morning run or walk in crisp Fall air. And it never fails to inspire one.
- Create a To Do list and monitor it daily. Switch things around as their priority changes and be flexible.
- Prepare your one page business plan. What are your goals? What specific actions will you take to achieve your goals? When are you going to do what?
- If you’re feeling overwhelmed – start with the easiest job first.
- Adjust your expectations, by matching them to what is required for the job. If the job doesn’t require 100% effort and just needs to get done – just get it done and save your energy for when it really counts.
- Don’t compare yourself to your friend or colleague. Relate your expectations to your personality, values and goals.
- Accept that some days will be more productive than others.
- Above all, remember that less is more and you are human. We all have good days and bad ones – accept that and move on.
May this be your most productive fall ever!