Whether you are the owner of a creative business or have a regular 9-5, every once in a while we find ourselves a little overwhelmed by our jobs. Here are a few tips to help you stay organized, focused and stress free:
It's important to have a tidy work space, desk and computer. Being able to find a tool, document or email exactly when you need it is extremely helpful... and it is also a great stress reliever. Make time to organize these areas. Think of this time as a great investment to your business. The tidier you are today, the faster you will be able to get work done tomorrow. Here are a few helpful links to blog posts featuring products and applications that will help you stay organized: 20 Ways to Get Organized For the New Year by Valerie Rains on "The Etsy Blog." Websites & Apps to Organize and Streamline Your Business by Michelle Smith on her blog at www.michelle-s.com.
Now that you are organized, sit down and think about what your business goals are. Where is your business now? Where would it like to go and how will it get there? Identify all of your business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (commonly known as a SWOT Analysis). This will help set better goals. Would you like to drive more traffic to your site this month? Launch a new product or service?
Make a Plan:
Now that you have set your goal, outline all of the objectives that should be met in order to reach your goal. Create a schedule and a budget. This is your plan. All of your objectives should SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Keeping all of your plan's objectives SMART will help you evaluate your results as you go along. If your results are not what they should be, you can make changes to your plan.
You should break down your plan to monthly, weekly and daily objective. Yes, this means creating to do lists. I love handwriting my to do lists on my Gallery Leather Family Planner. There are tons of great planners out there that can help you stay focused and on task, whether you go with an app on your phone and computer or an old fashioned planner like me.
Stay Stress Free:
I recently listened to this great radio broadcast, by Grace Bonney of "Design Sponge," where I got this great piece of advice: Don't bring your work home. That doesn't just mean to leave your laptop at the office or your paint brush at your studio, it means to let your mind rest. At the end of each day check off all the objectives you have accomplished and set new objectives for the next day. This action will give you a great sense of accomplishment and closure. It will train your brain to say "no sense in worrying about it tonight, I have planned a good chunk of the day to work on it tomorrow". When your mind is a peace, you can rest.
That brings me to my last point. As you are planning, remember to schedule time for yourself and that means make time for your mind, body and soul. It is a great business investment to keep yourself healthy. That includes, keeping hydrated, eating well, exercising and getting rest. It also means taking time out for your family and friends. They are your greatest support group. Also, take time out to do the things you love. If your business is your passion, take time out and do something different, something new, maybe something you have always wanted to do. I will leave you with this great piece of advise from my high school lacrosse coach: