TweetChat recap: Making the most of summer months

July 21, 2014

Make the most of the remaining months of summer.

Our second TweetChat with Hiscox Entrepreneur-in-Residence Brian Moran took place last week. Our first TweetChat focused on small business efficiency and this month’s chat shared tips on how small business owners can make the most out of the remaining two months of summer. Brian’s most recent post for the Hiscox small business blog highlighted 5 steps to making the most of summer months. The TweetChat expanded on this topic and provided tips on work-life balance, scheduling summer vacations and much more. See the TweetChat recap below for Brian’s tips on making the most of the remaining weeks of summer. The summer is a time to relax, but why should small business owners still be cautious on how they spend their hours?

  • It's hard for small business owners to relax, even in the summer. They are always solving problems and putting out fires.
  • You can delegate responsibilities, which empowers your employees and gives you some time off.
  • The key to enjoying your time off is doing some work in advance of your vacation.

You mentioned that you’re seeing a lot of content about work-life balance. Is achieving this balance a realistic goal?

  • Work-life balance as a priority depends on the type of business owner. Small business owners usually make it a top priority.
  • Work-life balance is less of a priority, in terms of quantity of time, for entrepreneurs. They usually invest extra time into their business.
  • I think the "key" to work-life balance is the quality of time you dedicate to each aspect of your life. Live Your Life!

Why is it necessary for small business owners to schedule vacations?

  • Small business owners need to schedule vacations like they schedule everything else in their lives. Structure is good!
  • A scheduled vacation means stepping away from your computer to clear your head and recharge your battery. This is critical!
  • It's too easy for small business owners and entrepreneurs to burn out from overwork. There are no medals for dying at your desk.

It can be difficult for small business owners to separate work hours from vacation time. Why is this the case?

  • Separating work from vacation is hard while away because problems occur at ALL times.
  • On vacation, I dedicate two to three hours EARLY in the morning to work. But then I'm done by 9:00 a.m. and I only respond to emergencies.
  • It's not fair to your family, friends or people on vacation with you if you're not "present" with them.

On a post for our small business blog, you write that creating a calendar is important for managing your time. How so?

  • I create a summer calendar because I have WAY too many moving parts. Without structure there is chaos.
  • A summer calendar helps avoid having our two worlds collide unnecessarily.
  • It really is important to lay out your plans in advance to make the most of work AND vacation in the summer.

Mixing business and personal calendars is often a no-no. But you say it’s okay. Why are mixing schedules no longer a conflict?

  • Most people have one phone, one computer and one life. They mix everything together.
  • The walls between work and personal have come down. Everything is SOCIAL now!
  • It was a no-no in the past to mix business and personal. But that, like many other 20th century "isms", is dead.

How can small business owners make sure they stick to their calendars after creating them?

  • Weigh whatever has "come up" against what you have on your calendar. Either stick with your plan or make adjustments.
  • The overall goal is to make the most of every day. Life usually doesn't go according to plan.
  • I can't remember the last time I didn't make changes to my monthly calendar. But I usually get it all done.

When trying to get the most out of your hours, you suggest sharing your plan with others. Why is this necessary?

  • Other people can hold you accountable. It's too easy to cheat yourself when it comes to making choices.
  • I see sharing my calendar with others also as a way to delegate responsibility towards a shared goal.

With two-months left in the summer, what can small businesses do immediately to ensure they make the most of the remaining months?

  • Small business owners should re-evaluate their calendars this week. I literally did this last night at home.
  • Things change quickly for small business owners. It's also important to keep the quality items on your personal bucket list.
  • Last week I attended a Mets game, I'm in FL tonight for business and this weekend I’ll attend a drive-in movie. I’m making it work in a busy world!
  • Best piece of advice for the summer – Be PROACTIVE and not Reactive. You’ll get more done and be happier.

The chat attracted a number of small business owners and entrepreneurs who shared insight on how they planned to spend the last two months of summer. Some notable tips are below. @Rieva: Remember why you became an entrepreneur. Take control of your business and your life. @RippleEffexLLC: I heard a quote recently: “The entrepreneur knows his true passions by what energizes him at night without noticing there’s a clock.” @ZenPayroll: Create 3 to 4 high-level goals for the week and be OK with interruptions as long as you can accomplish those. @fleejack: Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress. –Charles Kettering @sarahstanley: Establishing priorities is critical for entrepreneurs. Don’t put health and wellness off! @kgup10: It’s a gift and curse to be an entrepreneur. One has to work harder to find time to relax. Always delegate. Do you have tips on how other business owners can best make use of the remaining weeks of summer? Leave a comment here and it may appear in a future blog post. For more insight from Hiscox Entrepreneur-in-Residence Brian Moran, and for more information about our next TweetChat in September, visit the Hiscox small business blog. You can also visit Brian Moran & Associations to learn more about how Brian helps entrepreneurs navigate the small-to-midsize business marketplace.