It’s a basic truism for most entrepreneurs: Our work lives and personal lives are intimately intertwined. Sometimes this is a bad thing: Our spouse feels chatty when we’re on deadline, the dogs can’t cross their legs for one minute more, the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in the freezer seductively whispers our name…
On the flip side, there are unexpected benefits. Take today’s adventures in KathleenLand. Joseph, my hubby, had started organizing some household files and wanted my input. Now, anything to do with filing just barely ranks ahead of a root canal without anesthesia on my list of fun activities. However, I’d ignored this task – and Joseph’s request for help – for long enough.
It took us about an hour to agree on how we wanted to handle the files and where we wanted to keep the various papers that had accumulated – an hour when I could have been contacting prospects, doing some professional development studying, or blogging to stay in touch with folks.
The very interesting thing was this: After addressing that filing task, which had been hanging over my head and sneering at me, I found I had such a burst of energy. It felt like the stereotypical weight had been lifted off my shoulders, so I was emotionally lighter and mentally more energized. The result? A mondo productive day once I started digging into my To Do list.
I tackled the “big rocks” first, since these high-impact activities are what deserve my attention before anything else. I cut through e-mails, because I set a timer to keep myself focused. I worked on the marketing strategy for a new service coming out this fall. And I felt good about taking time away from my desk to have a healthy lunch and take a break for some light reading.
My lesson from all this? For a home-based entrepreneur like me, productivity is not just about setting up rules in Outlook to handle incoming e-mails, or using HootSuite to manage social media. Sometimes it’s a matter of looking at everything in my life that’s affecting my energy and dealing with it.
What’s sucking your energy today? And what are you gonna do about it?
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