Your office surroundings have a lot to do with your state of mind as well as your productivity. This is the same whether you work in an office, a cube or your home office. We have some tips on how to kick off 2020 more productively by starting with your office setting.
We know there are those individuals who will say they can work in a mess because they know where everything is. That simply isn’t true. When you’re working in a chaotic environment — even if you can find everything — you’re still adding to your stress and that can unwittingly decrease your productivity.
Here are some ways to boost productivity by starting with your office.
- Add foilage. Whether you’re adding live plants, air plants or artificial plants, greenery enhances your mood and just makes you feel better. Adding plant life gives you a break from staring at the office walls or computer screen and if you concentrate on the plant you just might feel yourself relax.
- Get rid of the clutter. This goes for your physical as well as your virtual desktop. Set up filing systems. Put stuff in drawers or folders. Keep out what you need to use regularly. Put items away that are used infrequently. Don’t let clutter roll around the desk because it’s distracting.
- Lighting matters. You don’t have to replace the ceiling lights to enhance the lighting in your space, but add a table or desk lamp to brighten up the work space.
- How inspired are you by your office decor? If you have any say in the matter, update and upgrade the decor. Add a coat of paint or hang photos. Add a few personal items or motivational quotes.
- How is the flooring in your office? If you’re working on hardwood floors or linoleum and the floors are cold or loud or dark, install new flooring or at least add a few throw rugs to dampen the sound and brighten up the space. If you already have carpet that is worn and dingy, add throw rugs or a mat to help your chair roll easier.
Take some time before the new year gets too far into its cycle and give your office a once over and see if it’s helping, or hindering, your productivity.
Burnout. It is real, but it can also be an excuse entrepreneurs tell themselves they are suffering from when they really have just lost their passion (momentarily) for their business. How to reignite your business passion is something we talk with our clients about quite regularly.
It is easy to be excited when you have an amazing business idea. It is also easy to feel as though you’re pushing a rock up a steep hill when you’re in the midst of making that business a success. All of a sudden that “thing” you loved is now your “job.” Your passion project has grown wings and will be the driving force in your entrepreneurial endeavor. That is a lot of pressure to put on something you love, right?
How To Reignite Your Business Passion
We have come up with five ways you can use to reignite your passion for the business idea you’re pursuing and making a living from.
- You’re the expert. Whether you’re making widgets or crocheting blankets, you have taken the first steps in turning that passion — your unique expertise — into a business. Shout it from the rooftops that you are the expert. If you don’t believe it, potential clients won’t either.
- Take a break. If your business is crocheting or dog grooming or whatever was once a hobby and is now a business, take a break from it. Do something completely different. You may just come back refreshed and renewed.
- Just because you’re passionate about something doesn’t mean you have to make a living at it, right? If you love to crochet blankets, sell them at local craft fairs, set up an etsy store, give them away to the homeless — no one says that just because it’s your expertise that you HAVE to turn it into a business.
- If you’re currently an employee who wants to break out and become an entrepreneur, is there anything about your current job that you enjoy? Can that translate into a passion project that might set you on the path toward being an entrepreneur?
- Maybe you just need a career change. Your passions can change and rather than trying to force yourself to become passionate about it again, admit that you want to go in another direction. Perhaps you have reached the end of your creativity with a certain project. Maybe you have uncovered something else you are more passionate about — go for it!
Life is too short to be stuck in a rut or be doing something that kills your soul. Perhaps you need a vacation or perhaps you need a business coach or an accountability group who can help you uncover the reasons why your passion has changed. Don’t close the door to a new opportunity if that is the path you are facing.
Are you still passionate about your business? Has it evolved since you started it? Leave us a message.
Being an entrepreneur can be stressful. Holidays can also be stressful. We have tips on how to ease holiday stress and entrepreneurs need to read these and implement them. Remember, if you own a business you are responsible for everything and every dollar that comes in and goes out — you need to stay healthy and in top shape.
If we’re honest with ourselves, the holidays are stressful without tossing being a business owner into the mix, right? It should be a time of friends, family and frivolity but it isn’t usually and we miss out. Don’t miss out this holiday season — on business or on your personal life.
For many entrepreneurs you have your business to run, family events to attend, shopping, end-of-year tasks that are sometimes more time consuming and draining than other tasks and then you probably have customer-centric events to host or attend. Whew!
How To Ease Holiday Stress
You can’t avoid stress, but you can address it and alleviate it. Here are our tips:
- Have a plan. Being spontaneous may be your usual M.O. but with so much more being on your plate during the holidays, take time to plan your days and your weeks. Also, plan for downtime and personal time.
- Don’t be among the 54% of all entrepreneurs who say they are extremely stressed during the holidays. If you’re feeling pulled into too many directions, prioritize where you truly need to be and go. Take a step back and just say “no.”
- Take time for yourself. In order to keep your business viable you need to be resilient and healthy. Unplug. Set an away message for your email and only check it a couple times a day. Turn off your phone when you’re eating dinner with your family or attending a holiday party.
- Don’t completely shutter the doors and tell yourself, “No one truly works this time of year.” Well, we bet your competition is working– they may be working fewer hours, but they’re still working.
- Start the year strong. If you let yourself do nothing in December or in these last couple weeks of the year you will begin the year feeling you’re behind and that is no way to kick off 2020.
What will you do to practice self-care this holiday season? We would love to know. Drop us a line in the comments below. If you’re struggling with stress, business planning and not reaching your goals, contact us. We can help.
Leaders have to be accountable to themselves and to their staff and vendors. Are you a responsible leader? By that I mean, do you take responsibility for your actions or even the actions of your staff? If a staff member makes a mistake your option is to let the customer know, “my employee really messed up” or you can say, “I’m really sorry about that, let me see what I can do to make it right.”
This isn’t to say you don’t have a conversation with the employee in question, but you do want to be the one to shoulder responsibility — after all, at the end of the day, it IS your business. Everything that happens in it, is your responsibility — good, bad or indifferent.
Are You A Responsible Leader?
An entrepreneur can’t work with a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude. An entrepreneur needs to be accountable to clients, staff and at the end of the day him- or herself.
How can you take steps to be responsible?
- Are you clear in your own actions
- Do your deeds speak to the company’s mission and vision
- When you have, or your employees have, promised a deliverable, is the deadline met?
- What is your process for follow up and follow through? Does the staff know what your process is?
- If you’ve made a mistake do you own up to it? If an employee calls you on a mistake, can you admit to your error and thank him or her for bringing it up to you?
Today’s consumers and even today’s employees have so many options — from whom to buy and with whom to work. You need to make certain you are above board, easy to work with and willing to take responsibility for your actions.
If you’re a new business owner, even if you’re a solopreneur, do you struggle with leading with integrity and with a mission and vision of which you’re proud. If you’re new to business ownership and want to work with a business coach or find an accountability group with whom to interact, reach out to us.