It's not always easy to keep things moving forward when it's just you at the head of your company/business. Sometimes life just gets in the way and throws up unexpected distractions that take your head out of the game for a while, and if it's just you, working from home by yourself, how do you keep yourself moving forward from this slightly less positive place?
Well I've just had one of those weeks, no particular reason for it, just a few personal things that have unexpectedly cropped up to provide a mental distraction and have lowered my energy levels and left me feeling slightly less enthusiastic and motivated than I normally am.
However, now that it's Friday I'm looking back on my week and despite the lower energy it's still been a really great week, I've ticked some big actions off my list and done the key actions to keep my business growing and moving forward.
So how do you keep yourself moving forward, when all you really want to do is sit on the sofa with the cat?? Here are the top 10 tips that work for me:
1) Change location. If you're feeling a bit stuck sometimes a simple change of location and some new scenery can make all the difference to your energy state, so grab your laptop and try working from a business lounge, library or just your local coffee shop.
2) Take more frequent breaks and rewards. If you're feeling a bit less energetic treat yourself kindly and don't set such high expectations, instead reward yourself with more frequent breaks and little treats everytime you tick a big action off your list.
3) Get out in the fresh air and daylight. Sitting in a stuffy, artificially lit office all day will not do anyone's energy levels much good. Take a quick walk round the block to start and end your day, or during your lunchbreak, or just get walking to that coffee shop.
4) Exercise. Exercise is AMAZING for changing your state and releasing a huge dose of endorphins to perk up your mood and enthusiasm. Even just 10mins of yoga with a youtube video can completely transform the way you feel.
5) Talk to someone. Being able to pick up the phone to someone for a chat who'll give you a motivation boost and some enthusiasm is priceless. This could be a mentor (I know, I'm biased!!) or just a friend, but try to make it someone who's also in business so they're more likely to empathise and then give you the boost you need. Just the act of talking to another human being, if you're facing a long afternoon of computer work, can make all the difference.
6) Schedule meetings. I often find that whilst I might feel I'm dragging a bit in the office, I'll always find the energy to give 110% in face to face meetings, and the huge energy boost I get from working with clients or bouncing ideas off other people really perks me up and often lasts for a good couple of hours after.
7) Prioritise. If you're feeling a bit less energetic lower your expectations, maybe you won't make it through the WHOLE to-do list this week, instead focus your energies on the 'A' tasks that have the most impact on moving your business forward and leave the 'B' and 'C's to next week.
8) Listen to yourself. If your body's telling you you're really tired, sometimes rather than pushing through at half-speed for a whole day, it's just more sensible to acknowledge that you're tired, take an hour out for a nap (this maybe assumes you work from home!!) and then go back to work feeling refreshed and at full speed, you'll get much more done.
9) Try something new - tick off a personal goal. Achieving a goal or trying a new activity can give you a huge energy boost, so if there's something on your personal list that you've been wanting to try for a while maybe this is the week. I've just gotten back from my first Acro Yoga class and it was great fun and I've come back full of energy and enthusiasm to write this post.
10) Stay hydrated. One of the biggest reasons for low energy levels is dehydration, and if you're anything like me the first thing you do when you're feeling a bit low/sleepy is reach for a comforting cup of tea or coffee (both diuretics). So try keeping a bottle of water on your desk and some herbal teas to intersperse with the coffees to make sure that's not exacerbating the problem.
And if you've tried all of those and still can't find the energy to face your to-do list maybe it's time to review the bigger picture..........or book a holiday!!