How To Prepare Yourself For The Daily Curve Balls Thrown At You
However well organised you feel you are, we all have times where we feel like the world is against us, and often let it affect our work as well as our wellbeing. Here are some simple ideas to help you deal with the daily challenges designed to throw you off course, so that tomorrow, you don't let them.
I generally feel like I am well planned person, with my To Do List by my side, my strategy on the wall and a team around me who understand the industry as well as my own quirks. But however organised I am, there is always something round the corner to throw me off kilter, to change my direction of thought often resulting in achieving less and a feeling that I have lost control. Some people like this ebb and flow, but for me, who likes to feel in control most of the time, it leaves me feeling tense which I then can pass onto others, often my family.
I have spent the last six months speaking to women in business who embrace these curve balls with ease, and who have become super resilient in all aspects of their lives. Here are the tips that resonated with me, that I have taken on board and now utilise regularly. Huge thanks to Celia Gaze from The Wellbeing Farm for sharing some of these with me and I am sure some of her thoughts will help you too.
Time Block Your Day
I manage multiple businesses as well as being a mum to two children so I need to get a lot done, in a short time i.e. the school day. To do this I block time for each task recognising that I only have focus for about an hour at a time and that anything over this results in being side tracked. Celia takes this to the next level though by taking whole days to focus so the curve balls cannot get her, by transporting her work to another place entirely such as a hotel room. "I often transport the contents of my desk into a hotel room at least once a month and get pieces of work done – this allows me to work with no distractions and get big projects completed which drive my business forward."
Now not everyone can afford this, but even choosing to decamp to a local library or coffee shop will help. The change of scenery often leads to new inspiration so consider a cafe in a different town, or maybe near the seaside. If you have a team who can handle the challenges while you are away, even better!
Take Time Out
Us entrepreneurs have a habit of working 24/7 which impacts our well-being often leading to a distorted reaction when something bad lands on our plate. We need to learn to take more time for ourselves, away from work, to relax and see things with a better perspective. By taking time off we will be better business owners as well as better parents, better friends and indeed better people, but we often find this so hard to do. I now try to take one day a month to do something creative away from the office such as visit an exhibition in London finding that it actually stimulates ideas as well as being fun.
The trick is to do this without feeling guilty and recognising the importance that a lunch date with a friend or peer has; that time off helps you to work with more focus when you return.
You cannot do everything in a day let alone a week, so set yourself realistic goals that are flexible so you can easily adapt when the curve balls are thrown at you. Celia advises to "focus on delivering 3 things per day, be crystal clear on your intentions for the day and focus on delivery." She is also a great believer in the ‘eat that frog’ principle; tackle the worst thing you have to do first and that way everything will be better as you’ll be relieved you got the horrible task out of the way.
Plan For The Unexpected
If we recognise that things will always be thrown at us that will impact our mood or output we will be better equipped to manage it. Celia advised me that, "Living on a farm, the best tip I was ever given is that every day at least 5 things will go wrong – if you bear that in mind it’s easier to accept when things happen and you just put it into perspective that it’s one of your five a day." Her optimism and resilience has really stuck with me and I have even shared this tip with my children.
Take Time To Reflect
Looking back and recognising all that you have achieved will give you confidence for the future; and that confidence will help you to manage any stressful situations. We have all been on a journey to get to this point, and by reflecting in detail we will see patterns in behaviours, successes and even bad times too. Knowing when to expect the slow times or the times when cash flow is smaller, will help us to manage expectations for the year ahead.
The number one piece of advice I have been given that I want to share, is that bad things will happen. There will be times when you may even question what you are doing and what is the point so recognising this and dealing with it swiftly really helps. Find someone to talk to, to confide in who understands what it is like to be a business owner such as a coach or a colleague as sharing will mean dealing with the challenge. And one you have dealt with it, you can move on.
If you are a creative, indie business or a mum juggling your business with your kids and need some help with planning, goal setting or marketing your business get in touch via my website Indie PR. And if you just want to surround yourself with like minded people who are in the same situation as you are, come and join my free Facebook Group.