Growing your business is an ongoing challenge, both creatively and economically. Decisions about what to offer, how and when, maintenance, staff, and studio space can feel overwhelming at times. But by being mindful, it's possible to simplify your business, and in the process, simplify your life.
Make a Clear, Concise Mission Statement
Why are you doing what you are doing? What is the reason for your business? What do you want to offer your clients? There is likely a whole host of things you want to accomplish, and that's great. But you should have one solid idea at the core of your business, something that you can measure new ideas and opportunities against, to see if they are the right fit for you. Strip it down to a one-sentence mission statement, print it out, and put it somewhere where you can see it daily. Then stick to it.
When it's your own business you want to work hard to make it succeed, but it's important to carve out space for yourself to unwind. Lighting the candle at both ends is a fast way to burn out. And if you burn out, who is going to run your business? Create some boundaries for yourself, such as no emails after 7pm, or no business calls before 9:30 in the morning, or making sure that you take a midday break for a healthy meal and perhaps a 20-minute walk outside. Remember that while your business is important, so is your personal life.
Much to-do has been made about the wonders of multitasking, but holding so many things in your mind at once can erode your attention span. Choose one thing to work on, and focus on it completely. You may find you finish tasks more quickly this way. Set 'em up, knock 'em down.
Shorten Your To-Do List
To-do lists can spiral out of control in no time flat. If you find your schedule is stuffed so full that you don't have any downtime, take a look at your list of tasks. Are they all necessary? Are some just busywork that can be done at a slower time? Can you delegate any of these things to your staff? Prioritize what you need to do, and realize that the list is never-ending—if you let it be.
Get off the Grid
Smartphones and laptops have made it possible to be connected at every moment of the day. But just because it's possible, doesn't mean you should do it. Set aside times during the day—at dinner, a few hours before bed, before breakfast in the morning—when you set your phone on silent, put it out of sight, turn off your computer and concentrate on what's in front of you, be it a book, a friend, your partner, a meal, or the view outside your window. The break will refresh you and sharpen your mind, making you more effective when you eventually turn your gadgets back on.
How do you simplify your business, and your life? Share your tips with the community, or #Merrithew with your ideas on social media. We're looking forward to hearing what you have to say!