If you’re worrying about work, and how to juggle everything you need to do, take a step back.
It’s become common to equate the number of hours you work with how successful your business is or could be. That you need to show up to perform. But if you don’t have energy or ideas, this is pointless. It’s far better to step away, and come back with excitement in shorter, more concentrated hours. This doesn’t mean you don’t need to work, but you need to be in tune with your rhythm, how you like to work and what brings you joy. There’s no point having a business if it doesn’t bring you joy in some way.
Slow down and think
Being busy or worrying isn’t useful for thinking strategically. Being present, and thinking about what your real goals are, helps you see what you need to do. Do you need to do everything on your list? Is it getting you closer to where you need to be? Take the pressure off. Relax and come back to your work. You’ll see more clearly and be more productive.
Know what you’re working towards. Does it fit in with your vision of your life or are you working towards someone else’s dream? Know what your own goals are, and use these to motivate and focus your work.
Be inspired and creative
Whatever you do, you can be creative in the way you think. Give yourself time each week to be inspired and to absorb new ideas. It could be as simple, and profound, as going for a walk and really noticing what’s around you. The artist and designer Coco Lom is an inspiration for us, encouraging us to notice more by looking for patterns and shapes in the world around us.
Focus on finding joy
We waste a lot of time on tasks that aren’t useful, thinking they are essential or procrastinating, and possibly even self sabotaging. We’ve all been there so you’re not alone. If you find you’re doing this, and it’s taking time away from your real work, you need to make a change. Either set up your day so you do the work that you want to focus on first, or make a list of the work you love versus the work you really dislike. Start to think about ways to get rid of the work that’s making you unhappy or how you can make it more enjoyable.
Look after your body
Your business is as much you as you are it. If you’re not looking after your body, you’re essentially not looking after your business either. Remember to check in and see how you’re feeling. If you’re tired, you need to rest. If you’re feeling restless, change the scenery, go for a walk or run. Move your body in ways that feel good for you.
Find your rhythm
Rather than try to live how someone else does, get to know yourself and how you like to work. You might like to get up late and work late, or get up early and finish before noon, or you might like to work in short, intense bursts or prefer a steady pace. There’s no right or wrong way, but it’s important to find the balance that works for you.