Top Ten Tips For a Stress-Free Summer : Summertime brings its own stresses for entrepreneurs. For example, running a business, while entertaining a string of out-of-town guests can be a challenge. For those with school age children, summer vacations have their own joys and pressures. Add to this the lure of good weather and multiple opportunities to play, the dilemma of whether or not to leave the business and take a vacation and for some a seasonal cash flow crunch.
Planning Ahead is Key
With prior planning, you’ll be better prepared and enjoy a productive and stress-free summer. The tips below will help you keep a right balance between work and play so that you’ll be recharged, renewed and ready for fall.
1. Be ready for out-of-town company. Let them know when you will need to work. Gather tour books, materials on local attractions and maps. Make a list of sightseeing suggestions. Plan to spend some quality time with your guests when you won’t be distracted by thoughts of business.
2. If you have children at home for summer vacation, involve the whole family in the summer planning process. Ask for everyone’s input and suggestions. Decide together on some fun family activities and put them on the calendar. If your children are old enough, work out projects and goals for each one, and sweeten the deal with suitable rewards. Maybe hire them and let them learn about business.
3. If your business is slower in the summer, it’s a good time to take that much-needed vacation. Decide who will be in charge of the business and make decisions while you’re gone. Think ahead about how you’ll handle email while you’re away and how much you want or need to be in touch. Be sure to pay important bills before you leave town.
4. Set realistic goals for your summer. Since the pace is often slower and there are more distractions, don’t set too many ambitious goals. Use these months to develop relationships by inviting clients to play golf or tennis, or enjoy lunch.
5. Offset the slow season cash flow challenge by offering a special sale. Take advantage of the slow time to negotiate better deals with suppliers.
6. Be flexible with your work hours. You may want to wake up early and get in a few hours’ work before everyone gets up. This gives you time later to goof off, and enjoy family and friends. When my children were small, I tucked them in bed at night and headed to my office. Working early or late can give you quiet, productive work time.
7. Focus when you are working. To be more efficient, avoid multitasking, concentrate on one task at a time until it’s finished. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, develop a habit of being very present. Relish the moment and resist the temptation to let your thoughts wander.
8. Make the most of social events. Take advantage of those backyard barbeques, poolside get-togethers and ball games with friends-they can be relaxing and are often excellent networking opportunities. Remember too that it’s okay to decline invitations to events you really don’t enjoy.
9. Take care of yourself. Get sufficient rest, eat healthy food and exercise regularly. Build in ‘alone time’ to relax, reflect and re-energize.
10. Determine to do something fun every day. Maybe go somewhere you’ve never been or do something you’ve never done before. Don’t take life too seriously-lighten up and laugh. Remember, stress is a choice you make when you respond to a situation.
Victoria K. Munro is co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for small business owners through creatively designed programs and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different businesses. To receive FREE business success articles with tips to help you with your business, sign up for their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,” at: http://www.Make-it-Fly.com, and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics & Tips.