According to the Internet I’ve been ‘quiet’ over the past few months, however I can report with certainty that quiet has not been a luxury of mine for a while. I could have been spotted carrying various event decore objects around Johannesburg town while texting or talking on the phone; emailing while sending a voice note or two and eating lunch in my car at red robots between meetings. It’s been real, to put it simply.
I had been warned that the busy season as an entrepreneur makes the busy season as an account manager in an agency look like child’s play. In anticipation of this work overload I was adamant that I would prioritise family time as well as time with my most valued friends – over the years I’d not been very good at managing this and I decided that I would not become that ‘business woman’ who was more business than human.
So appointments were made to toast over a friends promotion, kiss another friends baby, help a good friend move into her new house and play aunty Gisela for a weekend or two. I scheduled in coffee with Mum and dinner with my Beau and tried as far as humanly possible not to think of the next days deadlines all the while. I think I did well… I mean there is definitely room for improvement (perhaps an improvement who holds the job title PA), but overall I made it out with all limbs attached and it seems that everyone who loved me before is still very fond of me now, and my clients seem to love me even more. Mission 90% accomplished.
Here are some tips I relied on to get me through the ‘Busy Season’:
- Alert the A-Team
For me this is Mum and Beau, let the people closest to you know that you are about to embark on a tough few weeks so that they don’t underestimate your fatigue or disorientation and also so that they can assist you wherever possible – they can’t help if they don’t know you’re in need of help and if you’re pulling this off well they’ll probably think you’re just fine and end up leaning on you to help them…
- Never miss lunch
Like I said, I would eat and drive or concentrate on breathing through my nose while hoovering down a sandwich at times, but I learned through my intern days that you cannot travel far on an empty tank so I always had a lunch box, water bottle and some fruit on hand throughout this busy season.
This is not the time to stay up all night researching, ensure that all admin is done prior to execution phase and power up each night, you’re going to need the strength.
- List it
Start each day with a ‘to-do-list’ and end each day with a ‘still-to-do-list’… it’s a bit more ink than you need to be using but the repetition of naming your tasks allows your brain to plan the steps towards it before you even start on it – or at least my brain works like that.
- Prepare for the letdown
It’s like jet lag when the season ends. Peace and quiet seem highly suspicious and you feel like you’re not doing enough with your days since you’ve moved from going 160km/h to around 80… Time will fix this, whatever you do don’t try to get busy again too quickly because what your mind may handle your body certainly wont. Fix the photo frame that’s been broken for months, get onto a home improvement project, repack your wardrobe, watch series… it’s time to wind down and prepare for the next busy season in the (not too) near future.