Elizabeth Bonadonna

President of Busy Beaver Lawn & Garden, in West Seneca, New York

photo courtesy of Elizabeth Bonadonna

Elizabeth Bonadonna, president of Busy Beaver Lawn & Garden, in West Seneca, New York, recently made an investment to make sure her free time was just that — free.

“I purchased a separate cell phone to use as my personal cell phone,” she says. “I turn the business phone on “do not disturb” from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. to avoid phone calls/texts or the temptation to work. I also limit work conversations with my partners to wind down and relax.”

Here is Bonadonna’s average day.

I am not a morning person, so most of the time I wake up, get ready and start my day. I’ve always chose extra sleep over other morning activities.

(Breakfast) varies day to day. Sometimes I eat hard-boiled eggs, egg and cheddar wraps or a bowl of cereal. If I am in a hurry, I will eat an egg and cheddar breakfast wrap on the go.

I have two locations: our retail center and our headquarters. The retail center is about 17 minutes away from home, and HQ is about 12 minutes. I typically put on Pandora and go with the shuffle option or toggle between the local radio stations.

I get in between 8-10 a.m. depending on morning appointments. When I get in, I usually check in with employees and see if they need my assistance or set them up for the day. I then go to my to-do list and start working on that.

I always start by recreating/organizing my to-do list. I like to start a new one, so it’s clean and easy to follow. I also try to prioritize the order in which me or employees perform the tasks.

Lunch is between 12-2 p.m. I usually bring a lunch, which is typically food that we meal prepped for the week or dinner leftovers from the night. I purposely make extra to have leftovers for lunch. If I don’t pack my own lunch, I will get a protein shake and a meal prep from 95 Nutrition, which is a local meal prep company.

I will do a mid-day update with office staff, field crews and get an idea of how to plan for the next day.

When I leave depends on how much workload I have for that day or week. I typically leave between 5-7 p.m. Most of the time, my day does not end at this time. I either have an evening appointment or go for a workout.

I would say I have about one meeting a day, sometimes less than that since I try to keep meetings to a couple days a week to avoid booking too many meetings. I try to approach the meeting with an agenda or if I know the person(s) I am meeting with have a tendency to take longer, I say I only have X amount of minutes to meet so they know the meeting is capped.

I aim to go to bed between 10:30-11 p.m. I am a night owl so this is a struggle for me. I set the sleep schedule on my phone to remind me to wind down, which consists of disconnecting from technology/TV and anything stimulating. I take melatonin and sometimes do forms of meditation to relax my mind.

I enjoy sleeping in and moseying around on the weekends. I like to avoid time commitments on the weekend so I can feel refreshed and less stressed. I always go to the gym and enjoy the outdoors whenever I can. I do work on the weekends; however, it’s becoming more minimal as we get better with managing our businesses. I will find myself checking emails and catching up on some office work if the week was very busy. I am getting better at letting things wait until Monday so I can avoid burnout. If it is something important, then I make sure it’s taken care of.

August 2022
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