Even the most energetic and lively entrepreneur can lose their drive. Whether it’s the gray days of winter making us feel sluggish, or maybe you’re just having a rough patch in your personal life, Whatever it is, being sluggish and unfocused is never good for business. You’re the boss, so it’s up to you to motivate your employees when they need it…but it’s also up to you to motivate yourself when you need it. That’s easier said than done. The website Allbusiness has great tips for business owners who need a little extra help with staying productive:
Embark on a new walking route
Don’t force yourself to stare at your laptop screen and will your to-do list to get done on its own. If you’re really stuck, one of the best things you can do is get away from your desk and take a quick walk. Physically, walking increases the circulation of blood and oxygen to the brain, allowing us to sharpen our memories and help us improve our focus.
When you get outside, walk the road less traveled than your typical one. Don’t walk anywhere where you might get lost, but take different streets in your neighborhood. Stroll through a small park instead of going around it. And use the time to line up in your head three things you’re going to accomplish, and then get them done when you return so you can cross them off your list.
Watch what you’re munching on
Breakfast sandwiches and lattes for breakfast, and takeout for lunch might sound (and taste) delicious, but consuming sugary, heavy food can cause you to suffer a mid-afternoon slump. Keep the 2:30 p.m. feeling at bay by keeping a supply of berries and almonds handy to curb hunger cravings. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and snack on string cheese and hard-boiled eggs for protein, veggies and hummus, or apples with peanut butter for an added boost of energy.
Do some stream of consciousness writing
Got a deadline coming up and feeling a little bit panicked about getting started? Throw yourself into a bit of stream of consciousness writing first. Don’t feel pressured to do be perfect the first time around—jot down or type anything that falls into your head to get the creative flow going.
Put on a podcast to start and close the day
Before you begin working, look up a new episode of a podcast that you’re currently into and put it on to kick off your day. Allow yourself to get caught up and focused on the narrative while you’re prepping to get ready for work, making breakfast, and getting organized with your to-do list. Once it wraps up (generally most podcasts last between 30 minutes to an hour), switch gears to some music or peace and quiet while you concentrate on getting your work done. At the end of the day, return to your podcast and put on a new episode while you’re tying up loose ends to ensure you stay engaged all day long.
That last tip from AllBusiness warms my heart, because earlier this year, I launched my own podcast. My co-host, Chloe Lee, and I wanted to share our experiences as successful business owners. Our podcast “The Business Behind Small Business” is a great way to do just that. Download it for tips on everything from business jargon to retaining clients. Give it a listen, and drop us a line if you have questions you’d like us to answer.