Written by Karen D. Swim
Hello and Happy 2009! Like most people I have spent the past couple of weeks reflecting on the past as I planned for the future. I took real time away from business and the internet to relax, reflect and reconnect with the neglected pieces of my life.
Before I moved forward it was important to review the lessons learned in the previous 12 months. What went right? What went wrong? More importantly how would I apply the lessons to keep growing and moving forward?
So, what did I learn?
- Sometimes you’re on the right road but you’ve got the wrong mode of transportation. For me this meant for looking at plans and processes in detail. Often the plans were solid but I needed to tweak the process which included sometime appointing a different driver.
- I am not my business. As a small business professional it’s easy to blur the lines between the business you created and you as a person. My whole reason for creating a business was to allow me to have the lifestyle I desired. I had to take a step back and realize Words For Hire is not Karen Swim. That delineation helped me to think about my business with a clear head free of emotional baggage.
- I don’t have to know everything. This was a hard one but my natural curiosity led to information overwhelm. My feed reader had more than 400 subscriptions, I was receiving alerts every 5 minutes from the 50+ forums to which I belong and I was consuming far too much “news.” I cut my feed reader down, unsubscribed from tons of email messages (which I never read, they simply taunted me until my weekly email clean-ups) and stopped the steady flow of news.
- Mindful motion trumps multitasking. I had redeveloped the very bad habit of thinking I could do multiple things at once…and do them all well. However, after a period of rest I returned to work focusing on one thing at a time, fully engaging and completing one task before moving on to another. I accomplished more in half the time.
- I’m the boss of ME. I am not an employee in my life or business. I am CEO and that comes with the responsibility of managing my most valuable asset – me. I have to chart the course and ensure ME Inc. stays on track. I also must set boundaries and block out the things that are impeding my progress.
Using the Past to Propel the Future
There would be no point in reflection if I was not going to take action on the information. The first major change I’m making is to my schedule. I’m switching to a 4 day work week with shorter hours each day. I have committed to a 90 day experiement and will share what I learn with you here.
My schedule change will enable me the time to fully engage in the things I love like the blogging community. I would much rather complete my essential tasks for the day and then spend time visiting your blogs or chatting on Twitter rather than trying to juggle it all during the “work day.” I look forward to more meaningful interaction with all of you this year.
One final nod to 2008- Robert Hruzek has graciously extended an invitation to all of you to showcase your Best of 2008 posts in his super sized, Blogapalooza. Going through my own archives proved to be a wonderful opportunity to see how far I’d come in a blogging year. Robert’s more than halfway there to his goal of 100 participants. I would love to celebrate your accomplishments, so please participate and spread the word.
What’s in store for you this year? Care to share any big hairy audacious goals for 2009? Do you have a theme for the year? Your comments are always welcomed.