How To Get Your Business Back On Track

It’s back to school season! For a lot of people, including us, that means we’re finally ready to come out of the haze that is summer vacation and finally get back on track with our business.

How about you? Maybe you’re like us. You had all these grand plans at the beginning of the summer but then life happened and before you know it, it’s August and your to do list is the same (or longer!) than when the summer started. We thought that with Lily’s daughter in school, we’d be able to do all sorts of big things in July. BUT then her husband’s work schedule got so crazy we basically spent all of our time putting out fires and playing catch up where we could. It basically creates an environment for burn out because you’re constantly trying to multi task and nothing ever actually gets done.

So the to do list isn’t getting any shorter but somehow you’re getting burned out. Right?

Step One: Brain dump.

Write down anything and everything you can think of. For us, it’s both personal and professional because  Lily had like a million appointments to make and she kept saying she would make them but she didn’t even have a list to start with. So the first step is to write it all down so you can stop trying to remember everything. Odds are, something will be missed. It’s a huge relief when you can get it all down because you won’t feel like you have to keep it all in your head anymore. 

Step Two: Prioritize.

Pick out the things that you’re going to be working on over the next few months, and figure out if there’s anything that can wait or can be deleted altogether so you can make time for what matters. Once you have the major and little projects, you can break those down further into milestones and deliverables so that you know exactly what needs to get done. Plus having these details will help give you an idea of how much time you’ll need for each project.

Step Three: Create a workable schedule.

Just remember to add lots of buffer, it’s important to be flexible.  Even with a schedule all mapped out, it’s possible that most of your days won’t go according to plan and that’s okay. But at least if you have a schedule you’ll have a starting place to plan your time. For example, when we were working with our coach, she said you will work on this on Monday, this on Tuesday and so on, so on. And even if we didn’t work on those specific things, we started with a better idea of what needed to be done. 

For example, I was supposed to work on content on Monday and do website stuff on Tuesday. If I’m getting stuck on content ideas on Monday I can always work on the website first, but I’ll know that I need to make time for the content stuff on Tuesday instead.  Having a schedule gives you that because you still have an idea of where you need to be and what you need to be doing. But if you need to switch around, you have a better idea of what you’re working with.

Keep in mind that you need to be realistic when creating the schedule. I’ll say, oh, I have six hours throughout the day, even though I know I only have two guaranteed baby free hours. My productivity looks a whole lot different when I’m trying to multi-task than when I’m able to do focused work. It sounds kind of obvious, but I was reminded of it again when I sat down and was able to dictate two blog posts and plan out 2 weeks of Facebook content in 1 hour because I took the time to get out of the house and head into the office. So when creating your schedule build in plenty of buffer time and catch up times, if you schedule yourself to the minute you’re bound to have a lot of frustrating moments because life hardly ever works out that neatly. 

Step four: Celebrate that you’ve survived this summer.

And realize that it’s not a given. Burn out is a very real thing and I can see how that easily leads people to quit their business. Instead you’re coming out the other end and if you have school aged kids, maybe like us, you’ll have a little bit more time to dedicate to your business in the coming school year.  You just need to figure out what your new normal is. And for us that’s often the most difficult thing is just figuring out what our new normal is so that we can start working with that new normal instead of continuing to kind of just keep trying to bridge the gap, over and over again. It’s a very exhausting way to live. And I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about  how to get your business back on track.  We’ll have some more tips and resources in future posts. See you soon!

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