We are in a post-corona period (praying hard it lasts and that the rest of the world joins us soon), post-election, post-winter and post-Passover, but most of us are deep in "post-traumas".
Self-employed business owners mainly, but not just us. I feel it very strongly, like I've never felt it before. Everything seems really difficult and the pace of things I am doing is very slow. Whether it's jump starting the business, performing any of life's many tasks, and of course setting up and promoting new projects. Many advisers are advising these days to take it easy, come back slowly but most of us have no real choice and we must speed up the process simply because it is our livelihood, and also because ultimately, doing, acting and creating are essential for our minds (and from there for our bank accounts).
In my personal search for ways to jump start myself, I made a list of things that might help me. Some of them I am already implementing and I am happy to report that they are definitely helping me to progress, even if at a slower pace than my normal one.
Here is my list, feel free to copy and add your own ideas.
1. Share the hardship. I personally prefer to open up to people I assume are experiencing more or less what I am, because naturally they will get what I’m talking about. The very act of talking is very liberating and that in itself helps. If sharing on social media helps you – go ahead and do it, I personally refrain from that.
2. Café Café . Now that’s it’s finally possible here (in Israel), make coffee dates once or twice a week, with colleagues, friends, customers, suppliers (especially with those with whom you dared to share the hardship and who admitted that they too are in the same place). It is so refreshing and opens up the chakras. And it’s good for the cafés too! Although it is OK to make some of these coffee dates at home/in the office instead.
3. Joint working sessions. After singling those who are in the same jam as yours, set a date for you to meet and work (it’s better to meet physically but a "quiet Zoom" can also do the job, provided Zoom and its likes have not already gotten out of your ears by now. After half an hour of chatter, you start working. Each works only on what s/he is stuck on. Without escaping to social media and other attention and time robbers. It’s best to set a long session, about 3-4 hours, so that you really have time to get the work going or even done. The session can be with just one more person, you do not need a large group. You can set a few consecutive sessions, with various people, so that you can really make a stride in your work progress.
4. Breaking into tiny tasks. Take that "mountain" that you have a hard time conquering and break it down into tiny tasks. Write them down in the order in which they need to be done. It is much easier to conquer small hills.
5. Outsourcing. As a person who prefers doing most of the work on my own, I learned the hard way how liberating it is to let someone else do certain parts of a project. The parts that are a little harder for us, for example those that are technologically challenging. The value of doing so is so worth the cost. Of course, it is imperative to look for good and reliable professionals, whether it be a graphic designer, video editor, sound editor or an financial or marketing consultant etc.
6. Treats. Make a list (even if only in your mind) of small treats that you will give yourself after you mark “check” on stages of the project. Choose whatever works for you: watching an episode (or two or more) of a fun TV series, booking a pampering treatment (alone or with your spouse/friend), going out with the kids for ice cream, etc.
7. Organize your workspace. If you did not do this already during the Covid-19 lockdowns (or Passover/Easter break), then embark on an order and clean-up project of your physical workspace, and preferably also of your digital one (emails, computer). Get help if you don’t manage on your own. There is nothing like starting a new project when your spaces are calm and everything is in its place.
8. Retreat. I constantly see posts about and get invites to retreats. They all seem like a great help in getting out of the current “rut” state, and they also seem like fun: in the desert, up north, around a particular topic, or not. Find one that suits you, book it and enjoy the anticipation towards it.
9. Physical Movement. Outdoor walks, a studio or online session, running, swimming, stretching, yoga. Find something that you feel comfortable doing, even if it is minimal effort only, and do it several times a week. It does wonders for the body, brain and soul. My most creative ideas come to me when I go for a walk and in the middle of a toning session at the studio. I return to my office full of energy and desire to implement the ideas, and I do.
10. Hydration. Balance the coffee with lots of water. Place a full 500 ml bottle on the desk, drink up and refill it. So simple yet so effective but we forget it. The water cleanses the brain as well as our body.
11. Inspiration. Lately I find a lot of inspiration in listening to podcasts, usually while doing other things (this is the huge advantage of podcasts) - walking, washing dishes, and even while performing certain repetitive tasks at work. I listen to podcasts in Hebrew and English, on a variety of topics which interest me, both professional and fun ones.
You have other great tips and ideas for getting back to a productive routine? I'd love to hear! Send me an email.