How many times do you, me, (we’re all guilty of this), say that we haven’t got time to pursue our dreams. I’ll think about it next month, I’ll do it next year… Well I’m here to tell you to start NOW. Like today. Get going, and no more excuses.
No matter if there’s tons of other stuff on your mind or you’re busy with a full time job, or you’re a parent of 50 kids, or 100 dogs. This last week has been the most intense week in my career so far in terms of hours, pressure, commitments (like deadlines locked in 6 months back which also had to be delivered) as well as talks at Decorex, own label sign offs and a whole new store at Heal’s to design and fill with stock. Hours were intense – up at 5 back at 11.30 every day, its hard. But here I sit this morning with it all done and looking beautiful. If you have a dream go after it and start now, otherwise you never will! It’s tough, but these are my top procrastination-busters:
CUT BACK ON TV
I know it’s relaxing – but hear me out for a min – hours and hours can be wasted staring at the box. We were brought up (much to my indignation at the time!) to never be allowed to watch TV during the day. Now however many years on I can finally see why. It just feels so time wasting binging on re-runs when there’s important stuff to do. Don’t get me wrong, by about 9.00pm every night I’m so done in I crash in front of the television like anyone else. But it’s never on earlier in the evening or as background noise during the day. Cut back TV time and see just how much extra time you’ll gain.
GET OFF SOCIAL
I really try to cut down how much time I spend trawling social media feeds. If they are biz related I will, and I see every comment on the blog or social. But looking at someone’s personal feed to see what they’ve just read on buzzfeed or just had for lunch is such a time drain. I know social is so addictive so I’m not saying go cold-turkey, just scale back. Every other time you go to check your phone/instagram/facebook whatever, don’t. Simple.
GET INTO AN EFFICIENT ROUTINE
Make the boring routine chores run as smoothly as possibly. All our grocery shopping is done online and ordered on a Tuesday, laundry is on set days (or taken down the road to the launderette), our lovely cleaner is here twice a week and the windows are cleaned once a month. There’s a structure to our domestic life, right down to weekly supper menus, and I know it sounds super nerdy but so much time was wasted on these tasks beforehand. Now it’s compartmentalised everything is more efficient, it takes much less thought, energy and crucially time.
I also know we’re really lucky to be able to afford it but our cleaner is a godsend. Not only is she the loveliest person (we swap homemade bread recipes!) but I used to spend hours and hours cleaning this house, and I suddenly realised how much more time a week I could devote to the biz without it. 8 hours, which is half a day in my world. More time means I can push the biz on and it can make more money!
MAKE MORE HOURS
This is the most straightforward tip ever. Get up earlier/go to bed later. Anyone can do this. We rise at 5.00am which I know is extremely early, but we work with the Far East so with that 7-hour difference it’s important for us to be able to be on top of all that before the team arrive. It’s definitely an adjustment, but now my body clock is so used to it I can’t even lie in on the weekends. What I’m trying to say is that if you want something badly enough you find a way to make the time. The only person who might possibly get away with the “I haven’t got time” excuse is the president! It isn’t easy I’m afraid if it were everyone would be successful!
I am the most unrealistic person out there. I thought there would be queues down the street when we first opened our store all those years ago, with people camping out and hammering down the doors to buy our stock. I thought we would be turning a profit in 12 months and have global publicity within a year tops. I had zero understanding of how hard it was. That pressure caused a lot of personal dissatisfaction. When I eased off the pressure and set realistic expectations things got better personally and professionally.
DOWNTIME = BUSINESS TIME
If I’m on the way to a meeting in town I’ll take that time not to read my novel but to working on my business, or answering emails. I don’t take lunch; we’ll have team meets around the desk over a wrap or salad. I do walk the M’s every afternoon and that is my thinking time. It’s a break to get away, think things over and refresh me for the next 5 hours of work when I get back. I walk and talk to them (the M’s that is) about problems – we make quite an odd little family yabbering away. I’m literally on it all the time, so my downtime is also valuable and invested in the biz. The upside is that when I do switch off (say at 9.00 for tv time!), I properly switch off and don’t feel guilty because I know I’ve squeezed every second out of my working day.
I hope I’m not putting you off with how hard running a biz can be. It’s bloody hard, in fact it’s harder than you can even imagine. But you know what its the best thing I’ve done – I’m never bored, I’m always challenged and I can see endlessly exciting possibilities of where we can take this business. My only problem is that I need to add in a few more holidays as we constantly skip vacations, this year and last year too and that’s not good. Perhaps Christmas?