There’s a very interesting thing happening in the entrepreneurial world. There are two voices, the voice to hustle, and the voice to slow down. Depending on what you read, these concepts will get tossed around constantly.
First, both of these are important. There is a time to focus on rest, and a time to focus on the hustle. And when you’re focusing on one thing, give it all your attention. Try not to think about the business when you’re taking a short vacation. And don’t feel bad about spending a morning running from the job site, to home, to the office, letting coffee get cold cause of the instant message needing to be read since the inbox is too full, before the meeting starts. Because sometimes there will be days just like that. Sometimes, the only way to get things done as a small business entrepreneur is to get up early, work hard, commit, make lists, cross things off- in short, the hustle.
For all those who believe rest is the most important thing, sorry for that last paragraph. It certainly is. In fact, it’s very important. If you run out of steam, (and eventually you will,) you’ll know you’ve over-hustled. That’s not a bad thing, it simply means you need a break. So, can there be a balance? Absolutely. Just make sure that your focus isn’t always on the hustle, or always on the rest.
One part of the hustle has to do with office work and paperwork- ya know that stuff shoved to the back of the list. There are lists, photos, messages, magazines, email, bookwork, products to made, things to be ordered, coffee to be drunk 😉 plants to water, phone calls to make, text messages to reply to, blogs to be written. That’s why we believe that a routine is so super important. Routines help us to keep track of all the office hustle that needs to happen. Routines help us stay focused and on track. But what is a routine?
The dictionary says that a routine is “commonplace tasks, chores or duties that must be done regularly or at specified intervals; typical or everyday activity:
In the past several months we’ve come a bit closer to understanding the importance of routine and developing a routine as a creative company. Routine Doesn’t have to be boring, mundane or same old.
A routine starts with the most important thing.
Ahh! That sounds so impossible. How do we know what is most important? Sometimes there’s equally important things, but sometimes, there’s not. At times it’s easier to check all our email messages because the list of photos to be edited looks too long. PS. This is just a subtle form of procrastination. Other times there are emails that NEED to be answered, desperately. But we just want to water those house plants because that doesn’t take any brain work. Again, this is just a subtle form of procrastination. What tasks are you avoiding, in favor of easier tasks
You want a successful routine? Examine the areas that are less important, kick them to the back of the line and start with the first thing.
A routine can be fun.
You agree? Then pour yourself a cup of coffee, buy some pretty looking chocolate and eat it off a china plate, just because. Incorporate the special things into your routine, it doesn’t have to be a painful hour of office work, it can hold the savory things and still be productive.
A routine needs to be consistent.
When you attack the office work is also important. Monday and Wednesday mornings are the designated office hours for us. That doesn’t mean we don’t work on things elsewhere, but these are our routine mornings, and they work! Make sure the office work is given its chunk of time somewhere and kept to that time.
Consistency isn’t easy, entrepreneur-business-friend of mine. There’s definantly a time to pack up our folders and contacts and lists and head over to a coffee shop for some atmosphere and coffee (of course.) Changes in surroundings can spur our imagination and spark new inspiration. However, consistency can also spark inspiration. Hear me out: Picasso once said that “Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.” Often we chase the inspiration, when a consistent time in the office can actually be the best way to get creative.
Hey, different things work for different personalities. However, this we know: being consistent helps to get the officy stuff done.
A routine is more enjoyable in a pretty place.
Not everyone has a pretty office space.. But a few steps can make your area just a bit more attractive to work in. As you probably know, we love plants and all things greenery. Do plants make someone more productive, more creative?? Nah, probably not. But they do make people happier. And who wouldn’t want to be happier while attacking their work routine?
Wherever you address that mundane office stash, make it pretty. Grab some organizing tools, a candle, some greenery. You really don’t need to look at a cluttered desk and an empty wall. Do something that makes you actually want to go to that office space.
A routine thrives on organization.
Organizing the piles and the lists is boring. But organizing the piles and lists can make us that much more productive during the routine. Everything needs to have its own little place, either in a drawer, in a file cabinet or in a basket. Things are happier when they have a home, and so are we. 🙂
Action steps, cause great ideas are no good without some action.
Set aside a single time, maybe once a week, maybe twice a week. Decide that those times will be your hustle times. Choose a spot, organize it and put something there that’s like eye candy to the soul. Set a timer. Get started with addressing the most important thing. Take a tiny break to pour yourself a cup of coffee and grab a piece of rice crispy roll. Then do it.
You’ve got this!
“Work is not man’s punishment. It’s his reward and his strength and his pleasure.” -George Sand
Don’t you dare think that we’ve got it all together. George Sand’s words are #goals.
But we do love what we do, and we hope you can do. We hope that setting up some basic routines, being consistent and making them fun, will encourage you and further your business. Hey, fellow small business owner, we’re with you! And we’d love to hear what you do to get the boring things done, and do them well.
With love, Claude