It’s hard to admit it, but summer has just about come to an end. The weather is getting cooler, employees have returned from lengthy vacations, and your calendar is likely full with upcoming deadlines for projects that were pushed off “until the fall.” This return to business as usual can be stressful for small business owners as they play catch up and begin driving momentum for the end of the year. Following a few basic steps can help you get back into a rhythm and start the new season off strong.
With a bunch of small details begging for your immediate attention, it can be tempting to jump right into working on several different projects at once. Instead, look at the big picture before you commit time and energy to a project that may not fit into your larger business goals. Consider whether any recent industry news may impact your plans for the rest of the year. You may also want to take stock of the projects you’ve had waiting in the queue, and determine whether or not they are worth pursuing further.
At this point in the year, your to-do list may be looking a little scary. It’s important to prioritize the most urgent requests, particularly those that trickled in over the last couple weeks of summer when you may have been more lax in your organization. Check in with your employees about projected timelines and make sure that next steps are in place to keep things moving forward. Creating an order of importance will help your business operate most efficiently.
We all know that communications, whether by email, voicemail, or snail mail, tend to pile up during the summer while employees are in and out of the office irregularly. With the start of fall comes the opportunity to organize the communications that are relevant and clear out those that are not. Be sure to respond to all the messages you flagged for later or follow up on notes you’ve sent that have gone unreturned.
Though summer has ended, you don’t have to completely refrain from taking breaks to recharge. Particularly as you are getting caught up and back into the swing of things, set aside time in your workday for short breaks, either to go for a walk, grab a snack, or chat with an employee. You’ll return reenergized and ready to focus on the tasks at hand. This time will also help preserve the relaxation you achieved during the summer while keeping you on task for the coming season.
Keep these methods in mind for an easier adjustment to fall and good luck catching up!