July flew straight past me. My daily planner shows that I worked on a lot of things and checked projects off my to-do list, but I can’t help feeling that I didn’t achieve anything with the month. I think that the rest of the year will feel just as chaotic. I’m taking proactive steps and developing habits now to help me experience some sanity. Here are 4 strategies I’m using to help me create business sanity.
Sanity Strategy 1: Declining projects
I’ve started to decline projects that aren’t in line with the ways I can best serve my clients. I feel that taking on work that isn’t in my zone of genius is a disservice to my clients as well as to myself. I have a particular set of skills that I’m working to improve over time. Taking on projects that fall into my weaker skillsets makes me feel bad about the fact that they’re not as strong as my other skills.
When I’m in that mental space, I’m not creating my best work and I don’t feel that’s fair to people who are paying me. It’s taken me a while to narrow down my service offering and to feel confident in the way I best serve my clients. Now I happily refer enquiries to people in my network who are better at certain projects than I am.
Sanity Strategy 2: Taking meeting bookings with Calendly
A part of my business that has bugged me for a while was the habit of booking meetings via email. I would end up with long streams of email conversations where meeting dates and times were negotiated. This would cause a lot of admin and wasted time for both parties. I now use Calendly and it’s helped me to simplify my meeting booking process.
I’m not embarrassed to say that I use the free version of the service, which allows me to book one type of meeting. I have the booking system embedded on my website’s contact page, and visitors to my site can book a timeslot in my calendar with just a few clicks.
Sanity Strategy 3: Get clear on my focus to minimise distractions
There are tutorials online for almost any problem you’d like to solve. There are experts who create valuable content to help you with any area of business you’d like to improve. It’s then so easy to get distracted by this content and fall into the trap of wanting to improve every part of your business in a short space of time.
I’ve fallen into this trap too. One week I want to work on my social media marketing strategy, then the next week I want to improve the documents that I send to clients, then the next week my focus falls to improving my website copy, and the following week I want to improve some miniscule part of my website. It’s exhausting.
I’ve decided to hone my focus on one area of my business at a time and work on it until I feel good about the progress I’ve made. It then becomes easier to discern which online content doesn’t fall into that focus and then to shut it off.
Sanity Strategy 4: Unsubscribe from email lists
Speaking of shutting off streams of content… Email marketing is amazing and I marvel at the great content that I receive in my inbox every day. I know that I spend far too much time in my inbox. I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t read most of the emails I receive. Instead, I sort them out and file them in folders. I know the information will come in handy one day, but I haven’t decided when that day will be. So for now, I stockpile information.
This, obviously, is tedious and a big waste of time. In an attempt to minimise the time I spend in my inbox, I’ve unsubscribed from a list of email marketing databases. I’ve also created email filters for the mail I receive on a regular basis that I can’t unsubscribe from (eg, the bank). This has helped me to spend less time in my inbox and more time on the work I want to do.
I enjoy reading about what other business owners do to help them regain sanity, and hope that this has given you a few pointers to implement in your own business.
Melissa De Klerk
Writer, Web Designer, Digital Media Strategist, Typophile, Inspiration Junkie, Yogi
Melissa is the owner and creative brain behind Fox & Owl Media. She loves creating content strategies and has considerable experience with Website Design and Brand Management.
You can contact her here, and find her on social media by clicking the links below.