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Toyah’s Three Tips to get through this

There’s no doubt about it, the world is in a weird place. There are always pressures when you’re a business owner, but the 2022 landscape is vastly different to anything a lot of us have navigated before. We’ve all been learning how to operate in the pandemic era, but now some of the impacts of that are really coming in hard, along with the added complication of global instability, and – something we never thought we would say in our lifetime – the potential for a full scale war. If you’re having trouble focusing, or staying positive, you’re not alone.

When you own a business, it can be too easy to put blinders on and focus on where you’re going and how you’re going to get there – often meaning you forget to stop and take stock of the little moments of triumph; the milestones you have already reached to get to this particular moment in time. On the flipside, it’s easy to get distracted and lost in an ocean of worry – staffing, interest rates, cost of goods, margins, supply chain, whatever this is that the world is going through right now… sometimes the noise is deafening.

Now is the best time to stop. Take a breath, take a moment and think about what you have achieved in the last 12 months. 

Maybe you just started your business, created a new website or even made a few extra sales. It might even be as trivial as managing to show up to a meeting, in person or Zoom, answering just a few emails, keeping to a deadline. These are all achievements that help your business move forward and you feel accomplished, giving you a sense of purpose and ownership. Keeping busy helps to dull down the noise in the background.

Some days you might feel full of beans and proud of what you have achieved, other days you might want to disappear into a pile of blankets and junk food. Both of those states are valid and ok – and guess what, it’s okay to feel them at the same time! In fact, it’s human. 

So, what can we do to help maintain our sanity and focus through this weirdly surreal 2022 landscape?

Set some goals:

Take a second and focus on what you can see right in front of you. What do you want to do tomorrow? What do you want to have done by next week? Setting achievable goals is key to feeling like there is a purpose and a direction. Write it down. Who cares where: notepad, whiteboard, bathroom mirror in red lipstick. Write down the words and make it real. Leaving words rolling around in your head gives them opportunity to roll out, but writing them down so you can read them hold yourself to the intention makes them real and tangable.

Time is your friend:

Get a planner or a diary. Manage your professional day from the second you wake up. Block out hours for active work, set times to follow up on past clients or relationships. Allocate breaks so you have something to look forward to during the day. If you’re feeling extra spicy, go and have a catch up in person. It’s the little things that make the difference. You’re writing the rules but don’t also be afraid to bend them.

Reward Yourself:

It’s a known fact that as humans, we are rewards focused: do the mahi, get the treats. The same philosophy can be transferred to us as business owners. If we set a goal and achieve it: like signing a new client, or getting a fantastic review or referral because of the great work we have done, we can say “hey, I did/achieved/earned that!”. So next time you hit that milestone out of the park, treat yourself. Do the thing you’ve been thinking about – get the reward. It doesn’t have to be expensive – it could be as simple as saying you’re going to have a bath or spend an extra hour in bed reading. You earned the reward and you are worth the acknowledgement.

A teacher once said to me, Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance – and to this day, it has never let me down. No matter how hopeless the moment seems, knowing that I have a plan with layers and achievable goals can be a huge help to pulling me out of whatever funk I’m in. The sense of achievement that comes with being able to tick off each box from the list is absolutely critical with helping to restore that feeling of ‘’I’m okay, I got this”.

So go on: write down some words, create yourself a to-do list, make it achievable, check the letterbox & answer some emails. Every box that you tick off is a point achieved.

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