Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Is It Recess Yet?!?!

I have a confession to make. My name is Caroline and I’m a workaholic. I try to pretend I don’t have a problem. I try to cover it up. But, in the end I’m faced with the cold hard truth that I am a person who works too much. I even tried to take work with me on my honeymoon! (I got busted!)

Not only do I work too much, when I’m not working I’m thinking about working--How can I use this new idea to help my business and my client’s businesses? How can I make this task simpler, less time consuming? How will that news story I just read impact small businesses? My mind is constantly clicking away.

Oh, I know I’m not alone. There are many other self employed people in my little support group. In fact, another definition of workaholic might be “Self Employed”. When you’re self employed it’s hard to take a break. It’s not like you can punch the time clock and head home for the day. Your business is always with you. Especially if your office is in your home.

I am very aware of the toll self employment can take on a person's life. But, I also know that like Stephen Covey says, you have to sharpen the saw. Trying to work when you’re overtired takes twice the effort for half the result.

So I like to think of it in terms of grammar school. You work really hard and then the bell rings and you get to go outside for RECESS!! Take a walk or a run, play with your kids or your friends or your pets, change your perspective by hanging upside down on the jungle gym. When you go back to work your mind and body are refreshed, you’re less stressed, and you’re better able to focus and be productive.

The brain only has the capacity to focus for 90 minutes at a stretch. Then, it needs to reboot. The most important thing to remember is… RIIIIINNNGGGG! Oops! Sorry, I have to go play in the snow now, it’s RECESS time!

(Seriously, take a break. If you stop for ten minutes, the world will still keep turning. And you'll be more productive and focused. Enjoy.)

Until next time,
Caroline Jordan
Get Knowledge. Get Focus. Get Results.
The Jordan Result

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Learn Something New Everyday

Your grandfather probably told you to
“learn something new everyday”. Your
grandfather was giving you advice that works
for your small business as well as your own
education.

One of my clients reminded me, this week, of the
importance of learning something new everyday.
He has a piece of his business that is very time
consuming and cumbersome. He’s been working
to find technology that will help to alleviate the
problem. He thinks he’s found a solution that will
save him two days of work per week. Not two
hours—TWO DAYS!! For a small business owner,
that’s a huge chunk of “found” time.

I was reading a biography this week in which the
subject talks of going to “finishing school”. For
anyone who hasn’t run into the term before,
finishing schools were designed for young women
of the Victorian era to “finish” their education. They
learned skills to make them more marriageable, able
to discuss world events in the drawing room, how to
to communicate well with people from all walks of life,
to learn more advanced foreign language skills, polish
their musical talents, etc. Finishing school usually
lasted for one year and then, Voila! your education
was finished!

For small business owners, there is no such thing as
“finishing school”. Our education process never ends.
The best business owners I know are always learning
something new. Always looking for ways to make
their businesses run better. Always striving to become
better, smarter business owners.

So take your grandfather’s advice, learn something
new today that will move your business forward.

Until next time,
Caroline Jordan
Get Knowledge. Get Focus. Get Results.
The Jordan Result