Being neck deep in fruitless tasks is demoralising at best, and over time can leave you feeling depressed and disillusioned with this whole “being your own boss” thing.
When you spend lots of time working on tasks that you don’t enjoy or that you’re not particularly good at, it distracts you from the important work. You won’t have as much time for the work that will give you the financial and personal rewards and results, which were the reason you got into business in the first place. Ultimately, they steal time from that difference you wanted to make when you started your business.
You probably know full well that you need to ditch, decrease, or delegate at least some of what you already do, but it can be hard to know where to start. I mean, who can afford to take the time work all this out right!?
Sister… you can’t afford not to!
But how do you decide what tasks stay or go?
Every now and then I would see someone say "I won't be on Facebook for a while, I'm having a social media detox" and then disappear into thin air, and I'd think "Jammy so-and-so! There's no such luxury for an entrepreneur with their own business."
However, when I had breaks from social media - while on holiday, or on a day when I need to be present and attentive like a training course or family occasion - I would feel a certain sense of relief.
Then one day in Autumn last year, I realised that I was wasting a lot of time getting distracted by my phone and absentmindedly browsing through Facebook and Instagram.
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I don’t know about you, but 2017 was a roller-coaster year for me. Maybe this shouldn’t have surprised me, as life as a business owner is full of highs and lows at the best of times, but throw a house move and a wedding into the mix and that makes for a full-on year.
I spent a couple of days doing some planning before Christmas and took the opportunity to review 2017, inspired by this article by Anna Hunt on the importance of closing one cycle well before entering a new one. Here some of are my insights from following her process, both personal and professional (because they are never rarely exclusive).
Health warning: This is a longer post than usual, so you may want to make a cuppa before you get started.
Simon Sinek's book, Start with Why, is awesome (watch his TED Talk for a flavour)... but I found myself in a bit of a conundrum...
You see, I find it a bit hard to see the future... or, should I say, to picture one specific future. Every time I do one of those visioning exercises or meditations, I get a different vision… that’s if I get anything at all. This means I have lots of why's - my family, my fella, and I could go on.
So it hurt a little bit inside when I made the decision to move over from a beautiful hard cover diary to using an online calendar.
I had tried it before, and missed my diary so much that I went back to my gorgeous Paperblanks diary. It was my third double-booking in as many weeks that pushed me back towards the online function, because I found I was much more organised (and my handbag much lighter) if I had appointments in an online space that I could use on my phone.
Over the years I've learnt to better manage my energy and spot the signs that I'm feeling run down earlier. I believe this has been key to avoiding the colds and flus that come around - particularly at this time of year.
I believe in working better and feeling good, and getting sick doesn't help with any of that. If you're getting sick regularly, it might be because you're trying to "pour from an empty cup," trying to give more to everyone else (clients, kids, significant others, you name it) than to yourself. You may not think of yourself as being burnt out, but getting ill - whether it's through headaches, migraines, colds, or infections - is often like a "mini-burnout." That's a guaranteed way of interrupting your fun and fruitfulness.
So here are three ways of keeping yourself "topped up" so that you are less likely to have those "mini-burnouts" that could stop you in your tracks...
In my last blog post, I talked about starting your day right so that you have lots of energy to be productive and focused when working in and on your business. Sometimes, however, things stop you in your tracks regardless of your good intentions.
Do you ever have a day like this... you wake up, do your morning routine (feeling slightly smug about it) including the meditation, journalling, and healthy breakfast. You sit down to do some client work thinking - oh my gosh I'm on fire. Then it happens... the spangles!
So with all this running your business and marketing your business and serving your clients and blogging and networking all, you need energy... and lots of it.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day but it's not just how you manage your time that makes a difference... but also how you manage your energy. Starting your day the right way can make all the difference. Here are six things that will help.
I've been my own boss for nearly 7 years (at the time of writing) and sometimes I've put myself through more than I'd ever have put up with from my old employers. Including working through the weekend on far too many occasions. But taking a break is vital to replenishing your energy for the week ahead. Here I four things I think every female entrepreneur should do at the weekend.
Feel good, get more done, and have more fun as you work on
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