atargetWhen you have been doing something for a long time, it’s easy to become stuck in a rut. Routine is comforting, but it also has its downside. Sticking with the same routine for too long can cause you to become complacent and stop you from seeking continual improvement. In times like these, it is important to energize your business. Review the list below to find ways to refocus your efforts and keep your business on the path to success.

  • Establish priorities. There are likely many projects you’d like to tackle or new policies/products/protocols you’d like to implement. Getting started can be an overwhelming endeavor because it can be difficult to know where to begin. Establish your priorities by making a comprehensive list of everything you would ideally like to accomplish. Once the list is complete, choose one or two things that you can get started on right away. Choose wisely; what can be of most benefit to your business immediately? Prioritizing a list like this takes the stress off and allows you to focus on one thing at a time with the comfort of knowing where you will go from here.
  • Be as efficient as possible. For example, if you are in the midst of a project and have to stop to email a colleague for more information in order to continue, don’t waste the time you have waiting for the response. It’s tempting to take those few minutes to browse your Twitter feed or whittle the time away on Pinterest. Instead of giving into distractions, keep a running list of other tasks that you can work on. Is there a prospect that you could follow up with? A filing cabinet that could use some organizing? Although it is important to work in some down time, it is just as imperative that you maximize your time by working efficiently.
  • Combine your work with different areas of your life. This isn’t always possible, but when it is, build your life around your work. If there is a weekend-long industry convention you’d like to attend, consider making it a long weekend and taking your family with you. This way, you can attend the workshops and get in some networking. Once your work is finished, you have a day or two to enjoy the area with your family. When you can do this, you are less likely to feel pulled away from your home life by work and vice versa.
  • Actively manage your time and stop wasting it. For some, this comes easily. For others, it’s a constant struggle. If necessary, make a daily or weekly agenda for yourself. Expect to not be able to stick to every scheduled minute, but with a basic outline of how you want to spend your time, you’ll be better able to stay on track.
  • Commit to learning new things. Professional development is an investment of both money and time into your business. Without continuing your learning, you are missing out on what could be valuable tools to run your business successfully. It doesn’t always have to be a formal workshop or convention either; commit to listening to an industry expert’s audio book once a month or reading some small business blogs once or twice a week. Always be on the lookout for new learning opportunities. These will keep your ideas fresh and your business moving forward.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. There are going to be many bumps in the road, but learn how to cope with minor inconveniences in a different way from how you cope with major setbacks. The more you let the small things roll off your back, the easier it will be for you to handle major decisions and more important stressors.
  • Laugh more. Hopefully, you enjoy what you do. Take the time to be grateful for what you have built, enjoy the people you do business with, and laugh when something is funny! Finding the humor in everyday life makes for a happier person.

How have you gotten yourself out of a rut and energized your business? Please share your ideas below!