Shifting back into work mode after a summer of sleeping in and unstructured time is a challenge (to say the least). That’s why it’s a good idea to start preparing for the back to business season before September hits and you find yourself struggling to keep up with your regular work pace.
10 Ways to Prepare to Get Back to Business
#1: Clear Your Inbox — Make it your priority to get to zero inbox by September 1st so you start the new season with a clean slate. That way you won’t get bogged down dealing with email clutter and new important messages won’t get lost in the inbox overload shuffle.
#2: Catch Up on Paperwork — Tackle that paperwork you ignored over the holidays, including whatever bookkeeping needs doing, documents that need filing, and (gasp) bills that need paying.
#3: Tackle Tech — Handle all the tech issues that you have put off dealing with for the holiday break. That means updating all your software, fixing all those nagging glitches, and finding a solution for that ongoing problem you’ve been ignoring.
#4: Clean Your Desk — Spend 30 minutes for however many days it takes you to get your desk cleared off and ready for action! That means filing all that stuff that got shoved there over the summer (don’t worry — we all suffer from the home office desk dump).
#5: Build Systems — Start breaking down the tasks you know you will be facing come fall and figure out what systems you need to put in place to handle them. That includes arranging carpools to kid activities, teaching kids how to prepare their lunches, and posting checklists for the family.
#6: Set Strategic Priorities — Decide where you want to take your business this quarter and map out exactly how you plan to get there. Nothing gets your brain back into work mode faster than setting concrete goals and coming up with the action steps required to get you there.
#7: Kick Start Sales — Don’t wait until the fall to start generating the leads you need to fill up your roster for the upcoming season. Again, think of this as getting a few steps ahead before everything else gets back into work mode.
#8: Re-Energize Relationships — Start reaching out to key people within your network who you would like to work with this fall BEFORE they shift back into work mode. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy — a quick email, a telephone chat or a casual coffee on a sunny patio.
#9: Create Editorial Calendars — Take an hour or two to map out editorial calendars for ALL your fall marketing and communications, including blog posts, newsletter campaigns, special promotions and product launches.
#10: Book Your Me-Time — Pre-plan a little downtime for the upcoming whirlwind season so you don’t undo all the wonderful relating you did over the summer. Remember, all work and no play makes mommy a grumpy girl!