Rise and Shine - 5 Tips for Daily Success
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You were meant to Rise and Shine
Owning your own creative/design business is exciting, rewarding, fulfilling and can also be exhausting and discouraging at times.
As a solo entrepreneur or maybe a creative entrepreneur with a small staff, there are so many things to manage and keep track of....Not to mention staying fresh and creative so you can bring your best work to the forefront.
You have talents that people want to pay for and while that is altogether really gratifying...Keeping oneself energized with a clear mind is something that I have learned to consciously create in my daily routine.
I have been in business for 20 years and continue to work as a creative entrepreneur/designer. I have experienced burnout many times and decided I needed to change how I was approaching my daily life.
I deliver my best when I take good care of myself.
Here are tips that I have learned to adopt:
Each day I rise early and at the same time and follow a simple routine. Tea and a small bite - just allowing myself to wake up and enjoy talking with my husband. Quiet time/meditation - I have practiced meditation for many years. Like anything, it takes time to get the skill to quiet my mind and just be still. But I cannot express how important it is!! I was chatting with colleagues and how they are learning meditation. These are women who own successful businesses. I mentioned that I have been meditating for many years and I can go to that quiet place quickly - because I have practiced. It is there my soul gets replenished, I can regroup when I am stressed and let's be honest....creatives need an inner life to create their best work. Then, I go exercise. Sometimes at the gym or a walk in the beautiful area I live in. No matter what, I take the time to feed my mind, body, and soul.
Organize the Day
I like to tackle the most difficult or pressing tasks early in the day. I allow time for design, management, communications, and meetings. Most often, I am out at job sites or meeting clients in the early part of the day but I also make sure I group tasks such as showrooms, client meetings, and job site visits into one day and other days are solely spent in the office. At first, I thought I could do everything but it became very clear that I needed to organize my most pressing tasks first and then delegate what I could to others. I outsource many tasks and have assistants that I employ. I utilize excellent trades people and vendors who assist me in completing tasks. These are relationships I have forged knowing my time is limited and I am better off utilizing their skills whenever possible. I also use a bookkeeper and an accountant in my business so I can focus on what I do best. I highly recommend outsourcing whenever possible.....You can't do it all alone.
I keep a schedule and do my best to follow it but I have learned to hold plans loosely. When you work for yourself, its easy to put off starting your day and I make sure I start at a pretty regular time daily. However, I don't want to miss out on a good opportunity - or maybe even step away for a lunch with a friend or a kayak break - I do what makes the most sense for me and I find that ....everything does get done. I think having kids and working in design/construction has taught me to be flexible. Situations and plans can change up rapidly and I have become an expert at switching gears very quickly and setting a different trajectory. Having to tell clients bad news about a certain design detail that won't work or a cost they hadn't considered....which will ultimately affect the overall project. These are changes I deal with often and I have realized that while it may be disappointing that the original idea did not come together, another idea and solution will probably be terrific.
Step Back, Regroup
In design, things can get moving pretty fast in many directions. Details can be miscommunicated or misunderstandings can occur and that is when I step back and regroup. This is where the practice of meditation has been invaluable for me. I am able to quiet myself quickly and wait for answers. I allow myself the time and I let people know that I will get back to them. Everything does not have to be done all at once. Sometimes it's good to "Let the world go around once" on a few decisions. I realize some decisions are made on the spot and my being able to stay calm is attributed to the meditation I have practiced. The bit of time I take is invaluable to the work I do and often, my best ideas stem from allowing myself to just step away.
Respect the Work Day
I work for myself and in the early days, I worked all the time....keeping my phone close and quickly answering calls, texts, and emails. I then realized this was encroaching on my personal life and as you know, everything is a trade-off. I realized that if I am on the phone, or on my computer constantly....I would miss out on time with my children and my life. I set times to "walk away" from the phone and computer. As an entrepreneur, that is hard but I do not take phone calls after or before business hours, nor do I answer emails before or after business hours. I put myself and my family first. By respecting the work day hours, I am able to refresh my mind, body and soul so I can be my best the next day. Not to mention, there is a hierarchy of importance for me and my business - while it's important - is not at the top.
I have shared this Daily Routine with many women I have mentored and they have said that they see greater results in their personal and professional life. Burn-out doesn't benefit anyone.
Take the time you need to be your best so you can Rise & Shine
Elizabeth Ribons, ASID, CID
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