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Ever met an entrepreneur who doesn’t have to worry about deadlines? Me neither!
Being able to build our own schedules is such a privilege, but it doesn’t mean we have boundless timelines and flexibility for every task we tackle. Not by a long shot. And managing deadlines, timelines, and schedules becomes even more hairy when you throw a few team members into the mix.
You want to be reasonable and respect your contractors’ commitments to other clients (and work-life balance!) but also need them to complete the work you need on time and when you need it.
Luckily, today I’m sharing seven simple tips that will help you build and manage a shared schedule that works for your whole team!
Keep Team Schedules Aligned with Regular Check-ins
Schedules change. CONSTANTLY. It’s not something that can be stopped or mitigated because we simply don’t have control over all of the forces that influence our lives! People get sick, accidents happen, priorities shift, and sometimes we just plain forget things.
So my first piece of advice for you lovelies is to learn to love change and roll with the punches. Being rigid about scheduling matters will get you nowhere, fast.
Send an email to your team every Sunday evening asking for any schedule shifts or updates by Monday at noon. Doing this shows your contractors that you know they have lives outside your business, and are willing to work around their needs so long as they share those needs freely.
It also gives you the chance to get the lay of the land on a week-by-week basis.
Manage Your Team’s Schedules by Creating a Shared Calendar
We all live by our calendars, don’t we? But sharing them with others can get dicey, especially if you pop your gynecologist appointments and reminders to buy cat litter on the same calendar with your work tasks. A shared calendar dedicated to your workflow and team assignments—and rigged to send helpful reminders—can be a great work-around, especially for teams spread across multiple states and time zones.
It would be so nice if a shared calendar cancelled out the need to send those weekly emails … but in my experience, it doesn’t. Contractors truly appreciate an active, personal nudge to share schedule shifts and update a collective calendar.
Create Realistic Schedules by Avoiding Rush Projects
OK, I know. Completely avoiding rush projects and last-minute work is impossible. Sometimes they just crop up, and there’s nothing to do but crank out the deliverables as best you can!
BUT if you’re the type of person who tends to wait until something has become urgent to give it your attention, you’re part of the problem.
Adjust your working style to allow for reasonable planning and chart out workloads a month or more ahead of time. It can help to reverse-plan: Start with the deadline, the work backwards to figure out which steps need to be completed by which dates.
Don’t Let Yourself be the Bottleneck in Team Schedules
Beautiful friend, I know how hard this one can be!
You trust your contractors, but …read more
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