How to Keep Focussed on Your Business (During the Post-Christmas Food Hangover!)
If you’re struggling to find your mojo today, chances are you’re still suffering from the post-Christmas food hangover.
You know, that weird, sugary abyss you find yourself stumbling through between boxing day and the second of January. When you lose track of time and, were it not for your phone telling you, you have no idea of the day, date, or your purpose each day.
I wanted to work through the Christmas/New Year break this year and use all my 'free time' getting ahead on business plans, goals, and my 2017 content strategy. Unfortunately, I got caught up in the hustle and bustle of the festive season and fell behind in my blogs and 1,000 words per day (#31daysofcreate) writing challenge.
I’ve instead been binging on food; ham, cheese, and everything containing sugar – all rich foods I’m not used to eating and I’ve become addicted. Its all I think about. Moving from one treat to another. Making my way through 3 weeks of deliciousness in only a few days. It’s like I’d starved a sleeping beast and now it’s woken in sugary fury.
It came as no surprise to me that when I sat down to write my words today – I was met with a blank stare and fragile mind wandering through the wilderness. No focal point. No clear journey map or intended destination. My mind lost in this rich, sugary haze.
It’s a shit of a thing, food coma! But, as I’m not the only one with these feels right now, I decided to dedicate this blog post to overcoming the sugary haze with a few simple strategies to get us all going again!
Let’s join together and work through the overwhelm and festive fatigue and find focus in our work! Let’s produce something useful while we still have the freedom to do so!
5 Simple Strategies to Stay on Top of Business
1. Use Ideas Boxes to Generate Blog Topics
Can't think of enough blog topics for your content schedule?
Channel your dreamy brain and put it to good use with this super easy gem I picked up from a webinar with Kieran Flanagan (it's an awesome tool I refer to a lot).
- Grab an A4 piece of paper and draw 25 boxes across the page (5 boxes across 5 lines).
- Note down ideas for your blog posts in each of the boxes. You could start with a general topic; but then it may spur on other ideas with more detail or from a different angle. Write them all down as they come to your mind and fill up your page of idea boxes.
You don’t have to use all of them – but these boxes allow your brain to open itself up to creative process. I create a different sheet for each purpose – so, I have one for my business/freelancing posts, one themed around writing tools and tips, and another for opt-in strategies and content upgrades. Aim to finish each sheet in a single sitting :)
2. Write about your writer’s block
It's a dreadful feeling when you want to be writing a blog and your brain won't let you. You're distracted easily, fantasising about overseas adventures, youtubing cat videos...
Reflect on your writer's block. How is it making you feel today? What are you thinking about? What should you be thinking about? Just start writing and it will all come to you. That’s how this blog post started!
3. Map out your 2017 goals
While you’re in full daydream mode, come up with your top 5 business goals for the new year. If you’re struggling to start on these, warm up by working out your top 5 personal goals first. European holiday? Buying a house? Commit to daily meditation? Practice yoga every day for a month?
Now list the smaller tasks you need to do to achieve each goal (eg. save $100 per month).
Come back again next week when I’ll share my 2017 business goals with you!
4. Take a fresh look at your pricing strategy
When did you last update your pricing?
This doesn’t take that much creativity as you’re using the logical part of your brain, so it should be a cinch! My number one task today is to update all the prices and packaging options on my website. They are so out of date!
I last looked at these pages when I first wrote them back in July – yes, back before I’d even started the business and I had no idea how long each project would take me. I was very generous and learnt quickly that everything needed amending! But when I amended all the quotes, I forgot to update my website (it was contradictory and very embarrassing!).
Do a quick audit of your site; work out what needs to be valued higher – and potentially, what services aren’t providing any value at all. Also, are you due for a pay rise?
5. Set yourself a holiday schedule
It’s the end of the year after all, you deserve some rest! Make sure you spend some downtime by the pool, catching up on your reading list, sunbaking on the beach getting some Vitamin D.
- Grab your phone calendar, laptop scheduler, or good old-fashioned paper planner.
- Block out 3 hour chunks (or 1 or 2 hours, that depends on you!), each day to work on your business projects.
- During these blocks, commit to only completing one task. Write a blog. Schedule your content. Establish your business goals. Work only until you’ve completed your task or until your time is up. Whichever comes first.
Take small, productive steps
As a solo trader, it’s hard to find downtime during the year to work on your own business, so you rely on the Christmas period to catch up. But food comas and sugar hangovers have a tendency to thwart the best of intentions.
In my experience, having some structure and daily task list broken down into tiny accomplishments makes it easier for the brain to commit to an outcome. Take small steps to get back into the swing of things – but remember to take care of yourself too!