One of the perks of being an entrepreneur is the freedom it affords you: you get to be flexible with how you run your business and manage your time. You get to build a team and set systems that work for you and your clients. And you can get creative in how you run your business.
But while these aspects of owning a business are liberating, they can also be stressful!
You work long hours, struggle to achieve balance between work and life and feel overwhelmed. I get it. I’ve been there myself.
But in the past year, I’ve made a lot of changes to how I manage my time and my tasks. I’ve become creative in business and I want to help you do the same!
Here are some ways you can get creative in business to help you remain productive with minimal stress.
1. get creative in your schedule.
Most of us struggle with time management and how we schedule our days. We need to prioritise and be consistent. If we aren’t intentional about how we spend our time, we risk spreading ourselves thin or not spending enough time on important tasks.
As business owners, we also tend to spend the majority of our time working and sadly neglect the other important areas or people in our lives.
The beauty about running your own business is that you don’t have to work the traditional 9 to 5 work hours for 5 days a week! You can be creative with your schedule, prioritise the important things and allocate time to them.
For example, I don’t take external appointments on Mondays. I dedicate this day to administrative tasks that might otherwise not get the attention they deserve throughout the rest of the week. Since the start of this year, I also don’t work at all on Fridays. On the other days, I try to schedule all of my client meetings in the morning and keep most afternoons available for business development or networking.
Understand how best you work and what your top priorities are. You can then dedicate specific time on your calendar to these tasks. However, leave room for flexibility as you do this, because life doesn’t always go according to plan.
You need to set boundaries for yourself in order to consistently stick to your schedule. This involves being specific about the work you choose to do and how much time you will dedicate to tasks. It also means that you are intentional about who you work with and the ways you invest your time.
Poor boundaries can lead to increased stress and ultimately burnout. Be intentional about how you spend your time and what you spend it on!
2. creativity in how you work with customers.
Due to the pandemic, we have had to evolve in many of the ways we deliver our products and services. Businesses that previously weren’t digitized have had to catch up fast. This is a good thing, because in most cases, it has expanded your reach.
However, people are cutting down on physical interactions as a result. Therefore, if your business heavily relied on in-person engagements, you have probably had to rethink how best to reach your customers. This is an opportunity for you to flex your creative muscles.
Utilise social media platforms to stay in touch with your customers. For example, 97% of all internet users in Kenyans are active on WhatsApp: How can you use this to your advantage? What are other businesses in your industry doing? How can you adapt these ideas and customize them to your business?
3. get creative in your work space.
For about a year and a half now, we have had to be creative with the ways in which we work. Most of us have incorporated remote working into our businesses. We therefore need to be intentional about our work spaces in order to remain productive. This means getting rid of all distractions and ensuring that we are able to focus and remain inspired.
In my case, after 8 years of working from home, I finally have ample space to create a home office. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be very intentional about how I make this new office space my own and the ways I want it to provide inspiration to me.
Oftentimes, a change in environment can also positively contribute to your productivity. If you’re feeling mentally or creatively stuck, try to switch up your environment. Take yourself to a cafe for the afternoon, or to a co-working space.
When I feel mentally and creatively stuck, I try to relocate for a couple of days and let the change of scenery change my perspective. Twice a year, I also will book work “retreats,” where I go away with a specific business objective to work on and remove all other distractions from my environment and my schedule.
4. creativity in your strategy.
Your strategy is perhaps one of the main areas you can be creative.
While you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, you should give yourself the freedom to try out new things. Your market is constantly evolving. Customers’ needs change and so do industry trends.
Just because your current strategy has worked for you for the past couple of years, it doesn’t mean it will still be relevant in the years to come. Study your market and customers in order to develop hypotheses you will test. With your findings, make informed changes.
On the other hand, there might be industry trends that might not be appropriate for your particular business. With a proper understanding of your business and market, you will know when it’s time to make changes or not.
over to you
In what ways have you been creative in your business in order to increase your productivity? Let us know in the comment section below.