Do you ever feel like you and your business are drifting in different directions? Like you had this amazing vision for helping people, but somewhere along the line it turned into a low-paying, high-stress nightmare?
You don’t need to give up on your dream, you just need to fall back in love with your business. How can you do that? By finding balance.
It can be hard juggling a business, family and personal interests, but it can be done by making little tweaks to your habits and daily behavior. Some of these changes may be hard, some may be easy to start with, but all will help to get you back on track and help you fall back in love with your business.
Wake Up Early
I know this can be a tough one especially for pet professionals who have the flexibility to make their own schedule. But by pushing yourself to get out of bed 60 minute earlier means you’re finding an extra 60 minutes in your busy schedule. If you’re an excessive alarm snoozer, consider downloading a smartphone app that has a 3 snooze maximum.
Watch Your Time
There are a lot of pet professionals who left the boring 9 to 5 job to get away from timeclocks and timesheets. But by keeping track of your time you can see how time consuming projects are and if any of your daily tasks should be outsourced.
For example, you might hate doing your bookkeeping. And after tracking how long you spend bookkeeping each week you find you spend tons of hours on it per week. This is an important task, but since it’s eating up so much of your time you might want to think about outsourcing it to someone who can do it better and faster. If you’re concerned with the cost of bringing on another person, compare your time spent to the time you’ll save. How much is 1 hour of your time in terms of dollars?
Take It One Thing At A Time
As a busy pet professional you have 59 things to do at any point in time. But let’s be honest, if it was possible for you to do all those 59 things at once you’d already have them done. Trying to do all those things at once is going to break up your concentration, stress you out, and without getting anything completely finished. Instead take 1 project that’s been sitting on your to do list and work through it from start to finish. Putting all your energy into getting that one thing done, will help you to focus making it much easier to get motivated and get moving.
Create Focus, Create Clarity
We live in a world full of distractions, and it’s a serious chore to stay on focused. But it’s a learned behavior, much like a muscle that needs to be worked out everyday to stay strong. Each time you sit down to do a task make sure your phone is out of sight, your email is turned off and you have a quiet place to get things done. Create a ritual for getting things done and you can make productivity a habit instead of a headache.
Carry A Notebook
Do you have ideas, to-dos and other random thoughts constantly floating around your head? Then you need a notebook! Not only is this a great way to stay on top of time tracking, but by carrying a notebook you’re helping to ensure ideas never get lost again. Even the small, simple reporter’s notebooks are perfect for jotting things down and can be easily stored in your back pocket, purse, etc.
Start With A Plan
Whether you’re creating a quick blog post or creating a 2-month social media campaign, there need to be a plan of action. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be a fancy spreadsheet with graphs and benchmarks for every tiny task. For simple projects, just ask yourself who, what, when, where, why and how. It’s amazing what simply having the right mindset can do for the direction on your next project.
Simplify Your Apps
There are hundreds of calendars and productivity apps available. But every time you bring a new calendar or to-do list into your life, you’re just adding one more thing to your already busy life. I personally am a huge fan of to-do lists because they help to lay out all the steps of the process in a visual format. But here’s the catch – if you’re going to have multiple calendars or other productivity tools they all need to be coordinated to stay the same things. Having appointments written on some calendars, but not the others, is just asking for things to fall through the cracks.
You can’t do everything. Motivation and a great attitude can not create 30-hour days or convince people to work for free. Sometimes you’re going to have to say “no” to certain projects or come to terms with the fact that you need help, and that’s okay. Celebrate your achievements and give yourself a pat on the back when you reach your goals. You deserve it!