Today is the first day of Summer and if you’re like most Colorado workers you have been feeling the urge to get outside for the past few weeks. Self-employment and remote work means flexibility right? Here are a few tips to make the most of your work day and start on your Summer bucket list.

Track your time

Working set days at a coworking office is a good way to keep accountable and stay on task.  Working from home just has too many temptations, especially if you are trying to carve out free time while still being productive. Use an app like Rescue Time to see how you really spend your workday. How does focus compare between working from home verses your coworking office? Did you really just spend TWO HOURS on Facebook?  Unless you’re a social media professional, that’s not a good use of time.  Wouldn’t you rather leave work 2 hours early and spend quality time with friends, family, or self? Reclaim all that wasted time and give yourself a schedule.

Block off your calendar

Now that you know how you’ve been wasting your time, open up your Google Calendar or iCalendar and give yourself a firm schedule. Make sure all your required meetings are accounted for. If there are meetings that can be consolidated, do it! Insert which hours are allocated for do not disturb work. Break it down even further and note which client you will be working on or list tasks. You need to micro-manage yourself. It’s not all work, work, work… Don’t forget to block off time for lunch and slip in some of your bucket list items. Think of that friend you have been wanting to see, a fitness goal, or a relaxation/pampering activity.

This is a good time to adjust your working hours.  Have you noticed that Fridays are slower than usual? Maybe Friday is your most productive day and recharging on Monday is a better idea. Pick a “free day” and consistently take that day off. Make sure to note it in your calendar.  Having the extra free time will make you all that more productive once you return to work.  You will thank yourself and your friends and family will love you for it.

Assess your priorities

If workload seems to have shifted, go with the flow and take advantage of the opportunities ahead. This is a great time for personal development or business re-focusing.  While you’re scheduling your days block off time for classes, workshops, and events. Make it fun and see if there is anything that overlaps your bucket list.  For instance, if you want to walk more or get some more Vitamin D, consider a walking group like Walk2Connect or see what’s out there on Meetup. You don’t need to talk to business owners to effectively network.  Just get out there and meet new people and develop new skills!

Communicate your plan

You need to let your clients know your schedule if you want them to respect your time.  This can be done with a global announcement with an option to book your time with a tool like Calendly. You can also schedule email auto-responses whenever you are unavailable and in do not disturb mode.  Some professionals update their voice mail greetings to note that they are unavailable and working on projects until a set time daily.  Outline the expectations and highlight how busy and productive you are.

Now get to work, be productive and hustle so you can leave work today by 2pm and enjoy the sunshine!