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Feeling good in your business will drive revenues. These steps helped me in finding the energy draining tasks and create fun work with some simple tweaks. Give it a try if you want your work to feel effortless.
When you hear people talk about how work doesn’t feel like work.
Do you think to yourself, what a load of crap?
I used to be envious of those people, and I didn’t trust them.
Because, how can work always be fun and good times?
Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do right?
[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”- Darcy Miller”]If you find something you love, then it doesn’t feel like work [/pullquote]
We all have a passion for photography, but what about all the other tasks that come with running a business? But still, I kept searching.
So, I kept searching.
Because I want to believe that work can always feel good.
That work doesn’t have to drag you down. That you can create fun work!
Because when I feel good, doing work that feels good to me, I feel I am doing what is aligned with me, I feel I am living my purpose.
And when I do what is aligned with me, I get great ideas all of the time and I have a lot of positive energy and somehow that always results in happy clients too.
Today I think I am getting closer to a solution.
I have followed this process the last few days and already have more energy and gotten more done than I did in the weeks before.
So if your motivation is lacking, you might want to try this.
Step 1: Find out what is not giving you joy
Ask yourself these three questions:
- What are the tasks that you would like to give to someone else if you were sure they would do it the same way (or better) as you did them?
- What are tasks that you would like to postpone over and over again?
- What are tasks that you procrastinate on?
Make a list of all these tasks.
For me it would be:
- Sending out invoices
- Posting on social media
- Changing things on my website
Step 2: Evaluate your ‘I don’t like these tasks’-list
Now go over your list and evaluate if the task is:
a. not your piece of cake. It doesn’t spark any interest at all within you.
b. you like it but not like this. You might like it better if you could change the rules.
c. you are not equipped to do it, you have to learn a lot first, it makes you doubt whether you do the right thing
d. something other than the above.
For me it would be:
- Sending out invoices = a – I really couldn’t care less about this. I just want it done.
- Posting on Social Media = b – I can see myself having fun with this, but not in the way I’m currently posting (overthinking what to post).
- Making changes to the website = c – Every time I change something on the website I am facing some errors that make me frustrated.
- If you have some tasks marked as d. as well, let me know what your reason is in the comments so I can add to my article.
Step 3: Take action on each task
It’s not reasonable to make all those tasks disappear in one day, so we are going to plan one or two tasks each week. This way, the impact of this extra work on your business will not be too high.
What are you going to do for each task?
Task a. Outsource is the keyword
Find someone that you can train to do your task.
This can be super simple. What I usually do is record a video where I perform the task and comment on every step I take in very high detail.
I send this to my assistant and she creates a step by step procedure that she can follow it every week when she does the task. When it’s a highly complex task, I first perform the task myself using the created procedure and following the exact steps. If that works flawlessly, you know that everyone can do this task when they follow the procedure.
If you feel a bit stuck in taking action on outsourcing, download the free ebook of this blog. It has additional resources on how to find an assistant or how, when and where to edit your images.
What are excellent tasks to outsource this way?
- creating and sending out contracts, invoices, documents
- creating and planning social media updates
- editing your images
- backing up your images
- booking sessions in your calendar
- checking if all payments are done
- creating album designs/wall-art
Remember, only the tasks that spark no interest with you whatsoever.
Task b. Create your own rules
With tasks that you can see yourself having fun with it, if it wasn’t for ….. [fill in the thing that you dislike about that task] we are going to define our own rules.
For example, I procrastinate on using social media because I feel like I can’t be personal on my ShootZilla account since it’s a software business.
However, social media is designed to be personal!!! So I’m stuck between two beliefs here and that’s paralyzing and makes me super unproductive when it comes to social media.
So it’s time to set some new rules. And this could take some time. You may have to marinate this a while before the perfect answer comes to you.
Follow me marinating ;-) :
I can imagine me getting personal and not giving a f*ck anymore about what people think of my account. Which is easier said than done of course. Even when typing this my mind was already racing with ‘I will only post so and so updates’, or ‘I could outsource this too’. And that is not the exercise here. Remember you said: ‘you can see yourself having fun with it, if it wasn’t for…..’
So finish that sentence first.
I’ll do it for you.
I can see myself having fun with social media, if it wasn’t for my limiting beliefs that all my updates need to be perfect, that all my updates need to be software related, all my updates need to fit in a perfect visual on brand grid (well, actually, that part I like), all my updates need to make sense to every viewer, etc etc.
Where did those beliefs all come from? Probably from the countless well-meaning courses on social media that I did, LOL.
Now finish this sentence: ‘I can see myself having fun with [insert task] when ……’.
I’ll go first.
I can see myself having fun with social media when I don’t overthink every update I post. Which is the case when I write about having fun at work, doing work that aligns with your inner being.
OK, clear. I just got teary eyed. Always a sign for me that I am on the right track!
So my social media approach just became more clear:
- write about creating a life you love, how to make work fun, how to get in flow and stay in flow, so your work feels more effortless, you become more productive, you feel good more of the time and you are getting closer to do more of the work that you were meant to do.
- create a cool Insta grid for fun.
Proof in the pudding: After writing the above section I immediately reached for my social media app and started planning & writing updates, whoohooo.
[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”Katherine Hepburn”]If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun[/pullquote]
A common task that most photographers can see themselves having fun with it is editing. It’s just that they hate to edit the full bulk of all the images. I know a lot of photographers (myself included) who love tinkering with their images that they are most proud of.
So define your own rules here.
For example, I can see myself having fun with editing if I only do my personal favorites and ship the rest off to a company who does the whole batch of images.
Getting the hang of it?
Now go right ahead with your tasks marked as b.
Task c. Learn and evaluate
It’s always hard to learn a new skill and somewhere along the way you can get discouraged.
You might think: ‘I still don’t know everything!!!’
Or… ‘I will never learn this!!!’
When that is the case, ask yourself the following question:
Do I really want to be able to do this? Do I want to learn this skill?
If the answer is no, then put an a. behind the task and find someone to do it for you.
If the answer is yes then you are in for a great mindset shift.
Have you ever heard of the book Mindset by Carol Dweck? She talks about the growth and fixed mindset. People with a growth mindset believe that they can learn and adopt new ways and skills. People with a fixed mindset think that their qualities are carved in stone and can’t be changed.
I heard this later from coach Todd Herman in his 90-day year and his explanation resonated even more. He called it the OWW and WOW mindset. OWW as in… I’m in pain. Wow as in…. Wow, look how far I have come.
Basically, when you are in the OWW brain with your business, you are continuously comparing where you are to where you would like to be. And it’s never far enough so you criticise and judge yourself, which in turn results in low self-worth and that leads to procrastination and time waste.
However, when you are in the WOW brain with your business, you are continuously looking at your results and seeing the improvements you made which in turn leads to positive self-talk and that motivates and increases your self-worth which in turn leads to action and momentum.
In a nutshell what I learned from both of them. They actually had the same idea around the same time, pretty cool right?
[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”Henry Ford”]Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right[/pullquote]
So how to apply it to this skill that you don’t have yet, but that you want to learn in the long run?
Catch yourself when you think negative thoughts about the learning process.
Replace them with Growth mindset or WOW mindset thoughts.
So instead of thinking: ‘I will never learn this!’, you can start to think: ‘Wow, look how much I already have learned’.
In my case with changing things on the website and encountering an error, my first reaction was: “Argh I will never learn to do this quickly”.
And, after catching myself I am changing that to “Wow, I have seen this error a couple of times now, I know exactly what my options are. I know how to navigate this system so much better than before.”
So these were my 3 steps to more fun in your business.
You might discover that an easy tweak gives you a whole new motivation. Let me know how you go in the comments, ok?