How to Schedule Down Time to Avoid Burn Out

As a small business owner you’re supposed to be the master of your domain. Every story you see about working from home talks about working from the sandy shores of a foreign land, enjoying a lot of family time and down time with friends. But, the truth is, most small business owners don’t live that way. In fact, many are so overworked that they suffer from burn out.

How to Schedule Down Time to Avoid Burn Out

Photo Credit © Depositphotos.com/BrianAJackson

If you don’t want to risk burn out it’s important to schedule in down time. When it comes to getting things done your calendar is your friend. Everything I do, whether it’s taking a walk with my husband, or shopping it is scheduled using Google Calendar. We all have access to each other’s calendars so that it’s easy to see what we’re doing at any given time. That might sound boring, but the truth is, if it’s not in my calendar the chances of it getting done are near zero.  This can work for you too and when you try it, you’ll understand the power of the schedule.

Schedule Family Time First

When you start your calendar, open it up and first schedule family time. After all, the main reason you want to work from home or have a small business of your own is to spend more quality time with your family. Even if you schedule thirty minutes to spend with your kids or spouse each day, that is something that should be sacrosanct, avoiding any reschedules for non-emergencies.

Add in Appointments & Regular Infrequent Chores Next

Once you have family time in your calendar add in regular appointments that you have such as yearly doctor’s appointments, dentist appointments, and chores you do on a schedule such as changing your air conditioning filter. While this may seem like too much scheduling, the truth is, if you do things such as deep cleaning a closet on a schedule it’s more likely to get done, and since it’s getting done regularly it will take less time.

Block off Your Yearly Vacation Time Now

If you don’t take a yearly vacation on any particular schedule, you’re a lot less likely to do it. Look at your family’s normal schedule such as school and the ability of your spouse to take a vacation and schedule a regular time for your once a year vacation. Block it out, and make it sacred. Even if you cannot afford to leave for your vacation for some reason, make this the time you and your family take time off to be together even if it’s a “staycation”.

Mark the Times and Days that You’ll Devote to Work

Now that you’ve put in all the important things, mark off days that you will be working, including the actual hours you’ll work on your business, billable hours, and even lunch breaks so that you know at a glance of your calendar what you’ll be doing on any given day. It may seem obsessive but you’re going to get a lot more done if you know that from 8am until 11 am you’ll be working on client A’s work, and from 11:05 am. Until 12:05 pm you’ll be at lunch. Be sure to mark off the real time it takes. Don’t underestimate the time things take.

Putting everything, even the mundane in a calendar is going to help you not only have more downtime to enjoy with yourself and your family, it will help you get more work done in a shorter period of time because you’ll be organized and know exactly what you are doing at any given time on any given day.

15 Holiday Promotion Ideas To Keep The Register Ringing

The holidays are right around the corner. Are you prepared?

Holiday Promotions Ideas

 

The beauty of a small business is, we can be light on our feet. Besides, you still have a little bit of time and if you’re stuck with what to offer, this list should get you started.

The Add-On Bundle

Include a not-usually-offered or not-offered-before add-on to your product(s). It could even be a service.

Example: Get a personal coaching session when you buy this today.

The Value Bundle

Gather your best selling products and bundle them at a meaty enough price for you not to lose money but at the same time, give customers a deep discount compared to buying separately.

The Complimentary Products Bundle

Work out a deal with another company who offers complimentary products. Offer a free entry-level product, free trial, discount price or coupon that they can redeem at the other company’s store when they buy from you.

Example: Order a logo design, and get a 20% off coupon for web hosting at ABC host, or business cards at XYZ printers.

The Lifetime Access Deal

This works very well for continuity programs. Offer lifetime access at price that would make the product an incredibly low price if paid monthly over years.

Example: Don’t pay $19.99 a month. From now until the offer expires, get lifetime access for only $199 and never pay monthly again.

The One Year’s Product Deal

Slight different from the lifetime deal if that sounds too crazy for you to stomach. Offer one year’s access or one year’s worth of product for a great price.

Example: You’d normally pay $60 a year but for a limited time, pay only $30 and get the rest of the year free.

The 2 For One

When people buy two items of the product of your choosing, they’ll get both for the price of one.

The BOGO

This might sound like the same but it isn’t although technically the discount would be the same as the two for one. Offer a free item when they buy one.

The Reactivation or Return Bonus

Give customers a bonus when they re-activate their account or return to buy from you. You could offer a discount in place of a bonus but you’d want to be very careful that this is a short term deal and not to be repeated too often. Otherwise, you may end up with people who cancel just to wait for the re-activation bonus later on.

The Pick 3 Deal

Similar to the bundle deal, except this time, you let the customer choose what they want in the bundle.

The 10 Orders & Get Free Deal

Our local grocery store runs this deal regularly. You get a free holiday meal when you shop there 20 times. They do also require each receipt to be at least $20 to qualify and though 20 sounds like a lot. They start the campaign quite early so you have about 10 weeks to earn it.

Your customers may not need to shop with you that often, so you can always adjust the number of qualifying orders e.g. 10.

The $10 off $50 Deal

Instead of giving a straight discount, get them to spend a little bit more with you to qualify for the discount.

The Store Credit Deal

Offer customers store credit or store dollars when they buy from you today.

Example: Buy this today and receive a $10 credit you can spend right away or on your next order.

Private Sale

Reward your most loyal customers by giving them a special offer not found elsewhere. An alternative is to reach out to performing affiliates and offer a special deal just for their referrals.

The You Might Also Like This Offer

Dig into your customer data. Find out who purchased what. Offer them a bonus or discount for a similar or related product. If you don’t have one, consider an affiliate product. You may need to reach out to affiliate managers for the products to do this but can be well worth your time.

The Upgrade Deal

When a customer orders a product, offer them a better product or a higher end package. Something they would consider an upgrade for less than the normal upgrade pricing.

Example: Package A is normally $10 and Package B normally $30. When a customer orders Package A, offer them an upgrade to Package B for only $10 more.

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