You’re busy. Your to-do list is never-ending and you have been on the go for what seems like months. Then the emails slow, the phone calls dwindle and all is quiet on the home front. Your to-do list seems more than manageable again and you breathe a sign of relief. Just as you begin to enjoy this “down time” you start to feel a twinge of panic, “what now?”
We live in a world where full speed seems like the only acceptable way to run a business. We look around at everybody else, feel as if they are constantly working and we panic. Why is that? Don’t we understand that we are in control of the pressure we have on ourselves? As a business owner, aren’t we the ones who push ourselves too hard?
The first time I experienced a slow season was my first full year of business. I can’t lie - I stressed beyond belief thinking that the business was going to fail, that everyone else was bustling through their workloads, sharing perfectly groomed Instagram photos of work and leaving us behind. What were we going to do? Where did we go wrong? As quickly as it began, the “slow season” passed us by and we were left unprepared and even more stressed than before.
I realized that there were some key things that I had not put into place that allowed for my to-do list to become so overwhelming it was killing my creativity and my business.
- Lack of Boundaries: Set your work hours for yourself and your clients (in that order). When the day is done, shut down and unplug. Your business is only as awesome and fresh as you are.
- Distractions and Interruptions: Ignore the call of social media or the buzz of your email when you are working on a project. Focus and give it just as much attention as you would if your client was there with you. Treat it like a meeting. Would you answer your phone in the middle of a pitch? (The answer is no just in case you weren’t sure.)
- Doing it All Myself: Delegate. Delegate. Delegate. And I’m not just talking about for business. Share with your partner where they can help. An example that we have put into place around the Peach residence is my amazing husband does dinner on busy nights. How simple! One task off your list and you have another 45-minutes to wrap up the stellar work you’ve been creating.
As business owners and creatives we must take the time to reflect and rest. Let your brain have the chance to brainstorm without being forced (y’all, it’s called day dreaming and it does miraculous things for your creative ideas). Giving yourself the breathing room necessary to plan strategically will benefit your business, not hurt it! As Reina Pomeroy has said before, “without clear vision and focus, no matter what you do, it really doesn’t help you to progress.” Amen to that! How do you expect to have clear vision without the downtime to think through life? How about focus? Can you really focus on one aspect of your business when you have a million things racing through your brain?
The months of June and July have now comfortably become our “slow season”. Our clients enjoy their vacations and breaks from the constant “go” and we kick back, regroup and focus on new strategies. It also allows time to dream new dreams for The Peach. In fact, this beautiful blog was a dream that has blossomed in the “slow season” of 2016. Another branch to our growing tree!
Ask yourself these questions over the next week.
- What are your slow seasons?
- Can you build in some white space on your calendar in order to give yourself the breathing room to develop new concepts and strategies?
- What new dreams are coming from you taking the time to kick back and relax?