Busy is a great word in business; it means things are thriving, and for the most part you probably have everything under control. However there will be certain times over a year when you get an incredibly busy season; you might have a very seasonal product that requires triple work time, have a yearly fundraiser that needs a lot of attention, or a twice-yearly conference overseas that pilfers absolutely all of your time. The calendar tells you it’s on its way and you just know life is going to get a little crazy for a few weeks. Rather than await its arrival with dread and try to wing it, preparing for it in advance will allow you to handle it without too much pressure and know that everything else is still working as it should be. Try these things before your next hectic period.

Planning and Checklists

A month before the season arrives, plan and make lists. Consider what work or projects will be affected by you not being in the office as much and delegate work for the specified time period in advance, allowing others time to adjust their own workload. Make lists of what needs to be done and have a strategic and organized proposal of where your time is going to be spent and what will be done and when. Create deadlines and timelines and plan to stick to them; it will help things stay balanced and in-check.

Tell People

The people around you – whether at home or at work – need to be made aware of your impending crazy spell. If it’s an across the board busy season at work, colleagues will probably be aware of your hectic period but if it’s something they won’t necessarily be aware of, tell them sooner rather than later. Ensure that they know that your availability isn’t going to be as free as usual during those few weeks, and to expect email delays. Give them dates and an emergency contact if something really is pressing. When the time comes around, turn on your out of office and don’t just leave the generic message on; many people tend to ignore these, still expecting a timely response. Write a message that tells the person contacting you what is happening and why there will be a delay. Ensure that you tell friends and family too; let them know to expect late nights and non-attendance at Saturday’s traditional football game. Give them a date for when you’ll be back on normal time and even arrange something to look forward to; it will get you through the frantic weeks.

Sort Your Calendar

When you’re busy and people are asking for your time, it can be hard to even give them five minutes when you have a million things to do. After making people aware of your demanding stretch as per above, check in with your calendar and rearrange and move around as needed. Perhaps you have a Wednesday meeting every week with your staff that needs cancelling, or a business lunch with an out of town client. Email, postpone and clear some space. On many email programs, people can access your availability so it makes sense to fully block certain spaces of time when you really need the time. In doing so, meetings won’t be double booked and you’ll be able to get work done when it’s needed.

Don’t Do It All Yourself

Not knowing how you’re going to do everything can seem overwhelming, and that’s where enlisting the help of a virtual assistant can really help. No matter where you are as you travel for work, your VA can handle many aspects of your business from their own home office, providing you with the peace of mind that things like customer service, administration and social media are being fully dealt with. With your client dashboard you can keep track of what your VA is up to and where their time is being spent, and your VA can integrate into your team to fully support your flourishing business and infrastructure. Having extra work and stress on your head isn’t needed; consider outsourcing and watch the difference it will make to your workload.