Pet Parents are traveling more this time of year, so pet-sitting demands mount in gleeful yet more stress-inducing ways. To maintain an effective work-life balance, consider how to best manage your time and tasks, not only during this busy season but throughout the year.
To maintain an effective work-life balance, consider how to best manage your time and tasks, not only during this busy season but throughout the year.
Time is your most valuable and scarcest resource, with 1440 minutes a day to accomplish your personal and professional goals. Use your early morning to strengthen your heart, mind and body. Buddhist Monks keep their eyes closed and breathe first before getting out of bed! They reflect on the gift of another day before they start the day.
Each morning, start with the most important task, break it down and nail it. The Pareto principle, also known as the 80-20 rule, correlates to 80% of results come from 20% of your activity. Say no to everything that doesn’t meet your immediate goals. Everything you say yes to means you are saying no to something else.
Carry a notebook with you and jot down all your positive thoughts that are captured in your mind throughout the day. Your mind will process and organize your thoughts for you naturally.
Control your inbox and shut off notifications (those cell phone “pings” throughout the day are distractions). Process your emails 2-3 x day, yet in controlled fashion and based on priority.
Find creative ways to avoid procrastination. EX: you’ve been thinking about an exercise program yet work demands keep putting that jog on hold. Solution: Put tennis shoes next to the bed and go to sleep in a t-shirt and jogging shorts!
Establish Focus Days, Buffer Days and Free Days. Focus days are the Pareto of your week, with the first 2 hours of Focus Days centered on your Most Important Tasks. Buffer Days are the “admin” days to catch up on phone calls, texts, emails, blogs, client newsletters, payroll etc. Free Days are the days you don’t work! Always take time for yourself and close the office. Staff
should not be expected to work 7 days a week either.
Set an outgoing message on your office phone that says: “Thank you for calling (your name/company name). We’re sorry to have missed you. Please leave a detailed message so we can better assist you. The office is closed on weekends. If you have a last-minute FUR11 after normal work hours, please call or text (name) on his/her cell phone (#)”.
This simple message sets client expectations to (a). Respect a normal work week regimen and (b). Not to expect a return call on a Saturday or Sunday. You are also letting them know that urgent after-hour needs will be met and managed.
Take lots of breaks during the day! Sprint, rest, sprint, rest…Hard work and relentless focus on your dreams and goals is admirable. Just breathe and take breaks to avoid burnout.
Many successful business people use “To-Do” lists to organize their day, while others rely on calendars. Choose what works best for you. To-Do List Apps are available as an alternative to white-paper lists with a little more functionality.
For tech-lovers who want to download an app for organizing your day, take a peek at our recommendations based on great reviews:
Any.Do (“must have” per NY times and WSJ)
Sorted3 (everything in one place)
TickTick (has a Habit Tracker feature that includes time slots for meditation)
Trello (this one includes team management functions).
The Association of Pet Professionals cares about its members. We are here to help you succeed as a professional Pet Sitter and are as dedicated to you as you are to your clients and their companion animals.