Over the years I’ve realised how important it is to allocate enough time to work on our business, as well as in the engine room as we call it – to balance the vision and strategy with supporting the team to get sh*t done. Here are a few things that have helped me make this shift:
Invest in team development
During the past seven years we’ve spent over 200 hours in coaching sessions – with Murray Kilgour, Tammy Godsall and Stephanie Gallowitz. We also get incredible guest speakers to share their stories with our team; line up mentors for each person and ourselves; and do quarterly reviews to address any concerns and track career progression. All of this contributes to nurturing and developing an A team we can depend on, which frees us up to run and grow the business.
Set an intention for the day
Arianna Huffington is a big advocate for sleep, and for meditation. In episode 11 of her podcast ‘What I’ve learned’ she encourages us to start each morning with quiet and meditation: “simply avoid reaching for your phone. Instead, take just one minute to breathe and set an intention for the day. This micro step will affect the rest of your day”. It’s a simple message, but such a powerful one if you can make it a habit.
Create a meeting-free day
If your diary looks anything like mine, it’s tricky to find a gap for lunch, let alone a whole day where you can focus on deep work… but if you can make it happen, it’s a game changer. Distractions dilute the quality of your work, as well as your enjoyment of doing a task that needs your full attention. So try to block book time, and work towards at least one day in the week that is all yours. Plan what you want to do on that day ahead of time, so that you can get the most out of it, and prioritise important over urgent tasks.
We have recently added automation to Yellow Door’s service offering, based on years of experience gained from Dom optimising and streamlining the processes in our own business, using Airtable, Zapier, Xero, Asana, Harvest… the list goes on. It’s exciting to be able to share this expertise with our clients, knowing how much time the right tools can save, and what impact this can have on a business’s bottom line.
A practical example that affects my time directly is when we secure a new client: there is an automated process to onboard them – taking details from a simple form and automatically populating a deposit invoice; our CRM sheet and adding a task for me on our project management system to set up the first meeting.
Have an accountability buddy
Being part of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization Accelerator programme has being instrumental to my personal and career development, and one of my key takeaways is how important it is to be held accountable to the goals you set in order to drive your business forward. It’s so easy to get caught up in the detail of day to day life, and lose sight of the bigger picture. So I’m incredibly grateful for the role my accountability group plays in this regard.
Don’t compromise on sleep
I get at least eight hours of sleep every night – which often means leaving a dinner party first, or having the discipline to say no to another episode of a series! But it’s 100% worth it to wake up energised and ready to tackle whatever the day brings. If you want to understand the science behind this theory, head on over to the National Sleep Foundation guidelines, which advise that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night.
I’ve also mastered the 20-minute power nap, which comes in handy if I’ve got a taxing day. Having a cup of tea and square or two of dark chocolate when I get up works a treat if I need a little motivation to leave the cosiness of my bed!
Take time out
Weekends away are great, but proper holidays disconnected from the inevitable stress that comes with real life are hard to beat when you need to recharge and regain perspective. I always come back from a break full of ideas and realigned to my purpose. To be able to do this you need to trust your team to continue without you… which takes us full circle to my first tip!
I hope you’ve resonated with some of these points, and feel inspired to give one or two of them a go if you haven’t tried them before. Please reach out if you’d like to find out more about how we do things behind the yellow door, or if you need help with your marketing strategy or automation in your business.