Recently I have been a bit stuck.
I am struggling finding my way through this seemingly infinite number of little and big tasks on my plate. When I worked in an office, they were not as noticeable. They were taking care of by a team. This time they are all mine: emails, blogging, templates, calendars, branding, websites, marketing, SEO, accounts, taxes, quotes, sales, outreach, etc.
It is sometimes hard not to give up.
There are days when I tell my husband that I will look for an office job, the kids will have to go to after school care and he will have to help a lot more in the household. It feels like the only way out in that moment. Soon after my announcement, however, I remember why I am working for myself. I love my work and it has many advantages for me and my family.
The other thing that keeps me going is having a framework and business principles that I set as I started out. They help me to stay on track and keep me going.
I would like to share them with you.
Know what you are supposed to be doing, every day. I set my priorities based on my business plan and organise them bit by bit in my Google calendar. My calendar tells me what to deliver next, whom to meet in which coffee shop and when my next blog post is due. What is not in my calendar does not exists. I also use Asana which allows me to organise tasks by project, add collaborators, conversations, dates and times. I am mindful about allocating time for friends, family and to recharge.
I believe in being creative every day. It keeps me interested and shows me new ways of looking at things. To sharpen my creative mind I write down 5 ideas every day. About anything: business, lifestyle, finance, writing, cooking, design. I really enjoy that part of my day. It is fun and I collect ideas I can later on use for my brand, blog posts and business. Sometimes I upload them to my Instagram, sometimes I just collect them in my Google docs.
Being interactive helps me when I am stuck. I love talking to people and find out what bothers them, what they are really after and what they think. I make notes of the words and phrases they are using. They help me shape my business. I try to blog, have fun on Instagram and reach out to people who I might be able to help. And I don't feel alone. I am grateful for the support I receive. It keeps me going.
This is my favourite. Don't do it all at once or you will burn out. When you start out going to the gym with the goal to lift 120 kg, you don't expect to be able to do that in your first session. And if you tried, it is more than likely you will hurt yourself, get frustrated and give up. Same with your business: You don't need archives of blog posts, podcasts, photo galleries, live chats or any social media on earth when you start out. I pick one or two, work on it consistently over a longer period and see if it gets the results I am after.
Have fun and play
Play like children. They are not scared at the playground and worry about embarrassing themselves going down the slide. They just climb up and slide down. And they do it 10, even 20 times. They are just having fun. Trying, improving, going faster. I try having fun designing, writing, posting, taking photos and sharing. It works most of the time. I try to take breaks and have a laugh. Luckily I have got a supportive and very funny husband. That makes everything a lot easier. I hope this will keep me happy, focused and in for the long run.
Have you ever felt a bit frustrated or overwhelmed? What are your strategies to stay on track? What keeps you going?