How do you stay calm, cool and collected during the busy season?
Do you have a system that works well for you?
I asked my best and highest performing clients this question, and the answers were eye opening in their consistency.
There is a common thread in what the best entrepreneurs do in both their personal lives and their approach to the business.
Here is a checklist to see how many of these best practices you follow to stay calm and collected, with some anecdotes below that elaborate the most important elements.How do you stay calm, cool and collected during busy season? Use these tips. Click To Tweet
PERSONAL: Best Practices to Stay Calm and Collected
- Maintain your personal fitness regimen during the busy season.
- Eat well (don’t succumb to fast food).
- Spend time in nature on a regular basis – gardening, pruning, walking in the forest, fishing, boating, etc.
- Turn phone off when with your family.
- Practice some form of daily meditation, breathing, enumerating your gratitude.
- Get out of the office to change focus.
- Sleep well, getting a full nights rest. More important than ever during the busy season.
- Staying spiritual, e.g. reading the bible, or what ever this means for you.
- Maintaining self awareness, focus on the big picture e.g. family, knowing “this too shall pass.”
How many of these do you adhere to?
BUSINESS: Best Practices to Keep Organized, Proactive and Productive
- Communicate (and over communicate) to remove the doubt from people’s minds (employees and clients), and keep everyone in the loop. Communicate even when the update is “there is no update.”
- Have a business plan and anticipate bottle necks before they happen, be proactive.
- Spend quiet/alone time in the morning and evening for daily and weekly planning.
- Interact with your crews, either at your yard or on your job sites, to keep you engaged and keep them pumped.
- Delegate. Proactively before the season and reactively as things fall on your plate.
- Receive clear metrics of success: sales, operations and morale.
- Be a positive force with yourself and with your people.
- Remind people of their past successes, current importance, and timeline when the storm will pass.
- Have a Plan B, incase things don’t work out per plan, again, be proactive.
How many of these do you adhere to?
Here are a few best-practice anecdotes from my top clients on how to proactively overcome the stress and chaos of the busy season:
Grow the team: I enjoy watching and supporting my team to grow through adversity. I’m developing a greater purpose, I’m enjoying watching many on our team grow and succeed at levels they never thought they could. And it is making me better!
Delegation: Wake up early to have quiet time. During this time I write down my to do list. I delegate everything I can from that list. I also write down/journal my gratitude, a minimum 7 things I’m grateful for. This spikes my dopamine and puts me in a good mood to roll with the punches the rest of the day.
Communication: Staying calm and collected through the busy season is accomplished through solid communication. Communicating on an expected rhythm with clients and staff keeps me on top of things, and reduces miscommunications. This includes the “no update, update” – meaning that even communicating the fact that you have no new information to bring up is still valuable. I provide my clients with ‘no update updates’ weekly, if there is nothing of substance for an actual weekly update. It’s all about consistent communication. Clients and staff are not left wondering what’s going on if they haven’t heard from you.
Complete tasks fully: I don’t have too many projects/tasks unfinished. The unfinished projects on the mind create more stress and overwhelm.
Helping your team: I connect with a team member and help them personally – helps me remember that I have it really good.
Perspective: Reminding myself that this day or month or year is not as important as the whole process. If we have a bad week or month it is ok because we are in this thing for the long run.
Proactive planning: I think surviving the busy season starts well before the season begins. Anticipate bottlenecks and delegate appropriate tasks to competent staff to reduce these pinch-points. Support them in their new responsibilities, but don’t let them hand the tasks back because it’s “hard” for them (and easy for us to re-accept).
Grease the wheels: I try to stay out of the way of my team and don’t bring in new things to them and avoid big change as much as possible during the months of April , May and June.
Be the beacon of positivity: I also keep telling myself with we have been through worse things in the past and we win more than we loose as a team. I always try to stay positive with them and don’t share bad thoughts to make them worry during that time of the year.
Mindset: It’s all about the mindset! Time to take action. Communicate with clear expectations. Team huddles, weekly meetings.
Focus on bigger picture: I listen to industry related podcasts while driving. Takes my mind off of the immediate chaos and demands of the spring push and introduces big picture topics and ideas. I get out of my car with a renewed energy and sense of optimism.
Minimize surprises: To minimize surprises I focus on the things I have control over and arrive early at my office to prepare for the day. I also set expectations at the end of the day for the next. Inevitably there will be some surprises every day, but being well prepared reduces the associated chaos.
Customer communication: When the customer begins getting frustrated its very difficult to regain their trust and confidence. Every customer has different communication styles no doubt, but its rare for them to become frustrated when we over communicate. Reducing customer frustration may be the number one practice to keep everyone calm, cool and collected.
I love the quiet in the morning: I like to get up before the sun rises. To see the sun rise is a gift, a promise to a wonderful day ahead. Taking time for myself first, in the morning, is important. I exercise, spend time with my dog, meditate, and pray. To start the day with a clear, calm, and rested mind is my key to handling the stressors of the day with Grace. At the conclusion of my day, I prepare for the next by reviewing my calendar and prioritizing my action list. 20-30 minutes each evening allows me to start at a running pace in the morning.
Nature walks: For me, It is taking a quick walk in the woods I call it canopy time. If I can’t get into the woods I close my eyes and focus on my breathing.
Motorcycle time: I agree about finding your sanctuary. Mine happens to be on a motorcycle, riding on long trips will clear your mind. Riding the pacific coast highway Wednesday through Sunday this week! Other option when stress is heavy, turn off your phone and sit on the boat with a 6 pack 🙂
Consistency: During the busy time I think it’s more important than ever to maintain healthy habits and life balance. Daily workouts, eat healthy food, meditation and take some time to disconnect from the crazy and reconnect with myself, my family and nature. In short, I try not to drop the non work habits I maintain all year.
Running longer: I try to focus on something outside of work that takes my mind away or gives me something else to focus on. I usually start running more often and longer runs. This also gives my body a healthy outlet to release the stress. I find that if my body is in good shape I typically handle stress better. When I am out of shape, I feel the effects of stress more.
Fishing: I try to take the time to do something outdoors away from work and tech to break what can sometimes be a bottomless work thought chain. It seems as though a change in environment allows me to take a mental break more easily than trying to do so in or around the environment in which I work. For me it’s usually fishing!
Your Challenge: Two stages of proactivity.
Find your unique rhythm that works for you, and keep to it every day and week, no matter how busy and stressful it gets.
As you grow, make sure your leaders do the same. Teach and guide them to find their balance and proactively reduce the stress within the business and themselves.
Good luck this Spring.