I got a beehive for Christmas. I have a full bee keeping suit and everything. What I don’t have (yet) is any idea what I’m doing. Oh, and I don’t have bees.
What I do have is a bottle of lemongrass oil (Queen bees smell like lemon grass which attracts a colony, who knew?) and a lot of hope.
Resisting the urge to go into busy bee mode this week has been challenging. After a week of self-isolating with the kids inside, with the blinds down every day during a heatwave, I’m a little raw. I had to cancel my in person catch up with my OG Soulful Strategy crew and that was a massive downer (but we’ve rescheduled, so fingers crossed!)
My overactive hive mind (a phrase I discovered in Cal Newport’s work) began to buzz…
Thoughts about how I should get back into things, check emails, set goals, write on whiteboards and come up with a word for the year (and order a bracelet with the word on it)
In 2019 my word was growth
In 2020 my was abundance
2021 was going to be harvest, but it was really more like fallow, so I gave up. I also realised I don’t really like wearing bracelets anyway.
So far, all I’ve come up with for 2022 is “yeah-nah”. Do you reckon anyone has ordered that on a bracelet from My Intent yet?
(For my non-Aussie readers, here’s an explanation of what a “yeah-nah” response means)
I’m a ‘new year, new you’ denier.
A 2022 planner agnostic if you will.
Instead, I’m embracing my inner sloth. It’s what feels most rebellious and nourishing right now. Staying in semi-holiday mode.
So how do you get people to leave you alone? 😀
Start by applying a tree change to your inbox.
If you haven’t already, put some strategies in place to prevent you from the fatigue of constant checking, replying and switching your focus:
Get an online booking system for clients to book and pay beforehand. I’ve used acuity for close to 8 years now. I have very, very few of those “so, what time suits you?” threads that go on for 12 emails. I rarely have no shows or payments to chase up.
Go old school and set a regular open office hours – a set time during the day or week where you will answer emails or when you can tell people you will be available to chat on the phone, or they can drop in.
Something I’m thinking of trialling this year is a once a month open office hour for ALL my students. Meaning any student taking any of my courses (or enrolled in 1:1 mentoring) can hop on a Zoom group call and get their questions answered. I’ll keep you posted when I’ve set a schedule.
Write a thorough FAQ and set an auto responder. I’ve drastically reduced the time I spend answering similar emails by automatically directing people to a FAQ section. My auto responder (which gently asserts my boundaries around when I work and reminds people that I have kids) has really reduced the number of “omg I NEED you to respond right now!!!” type emails I used to get.
I’ve really found these past few years that even tiny, but meaningful changes in your business boundaries can give you loads of time back.
Your genius zone is not in spending hours carefully writing emails and creating ‘busy’ work so that you feel like a valuable human being. Just a thought 😉