The Things I Do When There’s “Nothing” To Do
I find small business owners run at their own pace and it’s usually fast and frantic! This is mostly driven by our own fierce competitiveness and desire to succeed. There are times when you do need to push and strive and there’s no downtime in your day. But there are times when you suddenly stop and realise there’s nothing urgent to do and that perhaps you may even be ahead of the game. Recent times with the global pandemic have also forced a lot of us to stop in our tracks.
I have a list of things I love to do during these times when there’s “nothing” to do.
Mind Mapping Your Goals/Dreams
I learnt mind mapping in boarding school in the UK and have used it ever since. My teachers encouraged us to make it as creative as possible — using different colours for different themes and doing little illustrations. I still do that now and it’s a great creative way to get your goals down on paper.
The idea is that you start with a central concept in the middle. Draw a circle around it. Then you can radiant all the other ideas and themes from this central concept.
I do mind maps at the beginning of the year for all my goals — business and personal. Lately I’ve been doing them on topics such as Jones & Co Covid-19 Planning. I find solutions to issues seem to come up easier when it’s all laid out in front of me. And apparently mind mapping helps your brain to find these solutions as it works in a radiant form which replicates how the brain thinks. Sometimes I just go off tangent and do mind maps for insane things like “Retirement goals: house in Tuscany”. Anyone else?
Deep Dive Into All the Great Content Out There
We are all in the business of sales and so as sellers we’re usually buyers too. I know I am! Someone only needs to tell me of an amazing face cream before I am online purchasing it. Content is king these days and so a lot of brands are spending more and more time on developing great content and making their blogs and communications so much more interesting and juicy! They know it’s a great way to convert browsers into buyers.
I love spending time exploring inspirational brands and how they communicate to their audience. Each brand has its own voice and it’s so interesting to see if this resonates with their products or services. It’s also a great way to get up to speed on all the latest trends, culture, art and fashion. I usually write down tips along the way in how we can incorporate different ideas to our Jones & Co audience.
Housekeeping and Automation
Quiet times are a great time to prep for when things will go crazy again. For me this means creating spreadsheets ahead of time ready to be filled in, cleaning up my files on my computer and inbox and organising things like pictures for when we need to do quick blogs or EDMs.
Another great thing to think about when housekeeping is automation. If you are doing the same thing again and again then you can probably automate it. It may be as simple as setting up rules in your inbox to treat certain emails in a certain manner or setting up automatic flows in your email marketing campaigns.
Another thing I like to do is to write down processes. I never have time for this when I’m busy but in quiet times when I’m doing something like setting up a new supplier then I write down the steps one by one. I have a folder of processes for mostly everything I do and it just keeps growing. Then when the time comes for me to retire to my house in Tuscany I can hand it over to someone!
As well as the above if there is downtime then sometimes I just like to take it as that — downtime. As in not getting out of my dressing gown until noon and spending two hours rearranging my bathroom cabinet. It’s been a hard thing to come to terms with — guilt-free time off — but after 14 years of small business I have learned that the crazy times are usually just around the corner!
With love, matcha and wine
As always, if you have any specific questions or topics you’d like to me to write about, drop me a line!