Managing a business is enough to make even the most grounded person feel frantic with pressure. There are deadlines, projects, people to manage, constant changes, and more.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed in your business, here are a few scheduling tips that can get you back to center and help you maintain (or reclaim) your sanity.
Buffer in Before and After Time
Every meeting, every appointment, and every task requires you to gear up before you can fully begin to engage. That requires about 15-minutes of mental refocus time before and after each task you work on throughout the day, or each conversation you have.
Knowing this, it’s clear that scheduling back-to-back meetings just isn’t the solution to keeping your sanity in business. If you book up your day solid, you won’t have any breathing room to do simple things like grab a drink, nibble on a snack, or use the restroom, let alone decompress here and there.
Give yourself a 15-minute window before and after each item on your schedule for the day. This will help you unwind and replenish your personal bandwidth, so you can be on your game from start to finish of your workday.
Allow Remote Work
With the cloud and readily available access to the Internet, a new trend has emerged – remote work.
Remote work is the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world where you have an Internet connection. Because so much is done online these days, it’s easier to continue producing quality work without having to be behind a desk. Many people enjoy remote work opportunities because it lets them break free from the four walls of the office, which can often stifle creativity.
If you feel the stress of your job weighing on your sanity, try scheduling yourself to work remotely at least one day a week. You might be surprised just how productive you are and how satisfying it is to tackle your to do list from another location.
Schedule in Important Deadlines
Are you sprinting toward a goal? Do you need to put all of your energy toward finalizing a project (and finalizing it well)? If so, put it on the schedule.
Adding your big deadlines to the schedule keeps them top of mind. More importantly, when you share your schedule publicly with the office, you can notify your team of upcoming deadlines without having to add to your to do list to advertise them. This way, your team knows when you are in crunch mode and can avoid scheduling non-critical meetings that will only add to your workload.
Nix the Confusing Paper Trail
Many businesses still put together schedules in a spreadsheet and then print them for the office to see. This antiquated method adds undue stress on managers and employees because there tends to be at least a handful of changes each time a schedule is released. People call in sick, switch shifts, or request last minute vacation days. When this happens, you must go in, manually make changes, and then print another copy to hang in the office. This can lead to confusion and unnecessary overwhelm.
Nix the paper trail by switching to an online scheduling app. Here, you can save stress by making quick changes that everyone in the office can immediately see. It gives you and your employees more flexibility.
Is Your Schedule Driving You Insane?
If so, it’s time to reel it in and gain better control over your time. By publicizing when you need breaks, when you need to work remotely, and when you need to focus, you can help your team know how to best communicate with you. Do this through an app instead of a confusing paper trail and everyone wins.
Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.