Rosie's Roundup: the summer juggle edition
And just like that it was suddenly the middle of Summer. School’s out, out of office notifications are on, working parents are operating military level manoeuvres and people are double or even triple-hatting whilst their colleagues are on holiday.
Everyone is barbecuing and tending to their gardens. Wanting to enjoy the warmer lighter evenings now the good weather has finally arrived (ideally torrential rain free). This month’s roundup contains all of our tips on staying productive whilst keeping the plates spinning and still getting to enjoy the occasional sundowner!
The email power hour
Nothing creates the feeling of extreme overwhelm more than looking at an overly full email inbox. Whether you’ve just returned from holiday to the dreaded ‘reached capacity’ message or you are working location free with the entire family in tow, it’s that feeling that one more ping might just push you over the edge.
Here’s a good tip: take 60 minutes (set a timer) shut down all other tabs and turn off your phone. Your inbox might not be empty at the end of the hour but it will at least be a lot less scary. And you’ll have a workable to-do list.
If you’re working from home with kids over the holidays - or worse still, needing to work on holiday - then giving yourself this power hour at one point in the day means you’re staying on top of your emails without the constant need to check throughout. If you’re still tempted to check more often, use the screen time facility on your phone to stop yourself by limiting access to your email app.
The apps have to go
As a parent to a 9 and a 12-year-old I’m regularly giving lectures on self awareness when it comes to screen time. But if I’m honest I’m a total hypocrite at times. My name is Rosie Fletcher and I’m an Instagram addict! For me, having to manage work and kids across the summer often means that things like exercise and cooking healthy stuff starts to slip - yet somehow I can still find time to wile away 20 minutes here and there down an Instagram rabbit warren.
So yes, I carried out my own threat… I delete the app some days to stop myself. I don’t allow myself to look at my phone until I’ve done an online 10 minute HIIT workout. Just like that I’m more productive. Whether it’s Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, shopping or news apps that are your time drain, just a little bit of self-policing goes a long way.
Make time work for you
Start earlier and finish earlier - or vice versa. It all depends whether you’re a morning person or an evening person. Many cultures with warmer climates adjust their working days in the summer either with a 7am start and afternoon finish or a midday break for a siesta.
Lots of businesses (though sadly not all) offer a more flexible approach to working hours so it’s worth seeing whether a roll out of bed straight to your desk first thing then nailing it by lunchtime might work better for you (it definitely does for me) or whether you’re a night owl who loves to be out and about during the day but are happy to be at your laptop until the small hours.
We’re lucky that the Rin Hamburgh & Co culture allows us to work at the best times for us. That’s why you might receive a 6am email from Rin (inside secret: it’s sent from her ‘bed office’) whereas an invoice from Liz might arrive at 1am because she’s been busy living life 9-5pm.
Use the lull to get stuff done
It does depend on your business type but work can quieten down from the end of July and across August - client are on holidays, juggling childcare and some even have periods of office closure.
It would be all too easy to kick back, feet on desk and drink rose (though I’m not sure you’d actually be able to do this at Natwest towers - I’ll have to check) but don’t. This lull is actually a gift. It’s the moment when you can do all those things that sit on your to-do list but aren’t ‘urgent and important’ or even ‘urgent’ (See 7 habits of highly effective people).
This the 2-5 year planning and strategising moment. A chance to take a deep dive into analytics or do an audit of your own or your competitors’ websites and social media. Networking events may have tailed off but head on over to LinkedIn and do some connecting. You can even go as far as making yourself a week-by-week plan and setting yourself targets to ensure you complete each strategic task. Come September you’ll be prepared, refreshed and with a clear glide path to success.
Getting your inspiration fix
Often during the juggle phase I find it hard to feel inspired. It feels like I’m not doing anything well, as I’m stretched in every direction and still have to make endless packed lunches (these are my summer nemesis).
Although there’s less time to read, I am a fan of podcasts - you can listen to them while working out, travelling or even making that dreaded pack lunch. If you’re looking for inspiration when it comes to what to read and need someone else to do the ‘running’, then Waterstones have just launched a new podcast where they interview authors of new releases.
Another writer-inspired one I recommend is Giles Coren has no idea, where Giles (a Times columnist) and his wife (also a journalist) mull over what he should write about in his column at their kitchen table. I’m also loving How to fail with Elizabeth Day - what’s not to like about a celebration of things that have gone wrong?
Right - it’s time to get to it, I’m off to delete some apps and I’ll see you on the other side.
Want to read more? Try this - Rosie’s Roundup - it’s my RH&Co birthday!