In August, clients are not focused. They’re unavailable and indecisive. You spend twice the amount of time to get them to do the things that took half the time, just a month earlier! It’s hot, you feel sluggish and unmotivated. It is the biggest month for family vacations during the entire year.
For the past two years, you’ve been running at hyper speed with non-stop pressing “deadlines”. Once the marry-go-round stops, you realize how exhausted you really are. Part of you is tired down, and the other part wants to keep pushing so you’re not exactly sure how to “be”. Many of my clients lack the motivation to do much right now. Some even call it depression. Is it depression or is it the collection of all the things mentioned above? Regardless, I’m here to help!
My idea! Why fight it? Why not take the month and FINALLY do all those things YOU want to do? For those of you who just canot, not, do work things then change what your doing and how your doing it. Think of some work related tasks and topics that always go by the wayside during busy times. Like, long-term business day-dreaming. Day dreaming about your deepest desires – a collection, a new line, even dipping your fingers into some art project. BUT…. do it with ease and in a way that restores your soul not deplete it more. (Super key here).
Definitely add a heavy dose of exciting “ME” projects. If you are feeling like the cobblers child; you know, where you’re feeling bad that you make others’ homes AMAZING but you still haven’t finished out that laundry room, gotten the final touches on your backyard landscaping or updated your office with that new chair, light and computer stand that would make your day SOOOO much nicer.
Come on, now is the time. Make you the client. Make it fun. You have 3 weeks. Here are 6 easy steps.
#1: Make You The Client
First, start by making a mind shift. Make YOU the client. Kind of awkward, I know, but think of all the ways you put your clients first and do all those things for yourself. You can do it! It’s just a little mind shift.
#2: Set Your Own Deadline
You have three-ish weeks (or more if you want). So many designers are motivated by deadlines so make it up. Don’t worry, your mind will work for you exactly how it does for your clients.
#3: Start Your List
Think about what you want to accomplish in August (or find all those Post It notes with those ideas) and combine them onto one page. (Who doesn’t love to start with consolidating and organizing). How do you prioritize? Smart question because this too is a little helpful trick. Put the things that gives you goosebumps, or makes you jump up from the chair, at the top of the list. Yes! What excites you most goes at the top. No matter how silly or simple those things are, let goosebumps be your barometer on what goes at the top of the list. Another MAJOR tip for writing that list. Break the big tasks into small little chewable pieces – maybe into 30-minute bite size tasks as part of the end goal. Here’s an example. “Work on organizing my clothes”. Break that down into smaller pieces like this; Decide how I want my closet organized – by color? By season? Organize shoes. Organize all short sleeves. Go thru 2 boxes by Thursday and make decision on what to do. You get it now! Small, chewable pieces.
#4: Block Your Calendar
Block times like you would a meeting with a client and put specific tasks in your calendar to remind you what you’re working on. Yep, block it using this trick; ask yourself, what time of day is the most fun for me to get this done (not when I SHOULD do it, or when I can fit it in after a 12 hour day, or over the weekend. Identify your best thinking you want for tackling these actions. Is it morning in your jammies? Are you an afternoon thinker? Write it in on your calendar just as you would client work.
#5: Identify and Evaluate Helpful Resources
Evaluate specific resources that would make achieving these tasks the MOST fun – girlfriends, colleagues, the trades, craftsmen, or a masseuse. It’s been a rough couple of years. Make this fun in the way only you know how for your unique style.
#6: Set The Stage For Doing These Tasks
Do you need inspiration? Check this out! One of my interior designer clients took a “sabbatical” in July. Her team managed everything without her input with ease and she was able to “check out”, rejuvenate and return (after a month) refreshed. Her “goose bump” priority was focusing on BIG LONGTERM thinking for her business while she was hiking and sitting in the sun on her deck. She also decided to tackle some personal things that she has been avoiding. She called on expert resources to help her tackle some tough stuff. This block of uninterrupted time gave her the space to deep dive into topics that she never gets to work on with a full client schedule.
Regardless of what you work on, the benefit is that you create the specific space to focus on what is most important to you and that becomes exciting and motivating and you return a new person ready to go at it again .
Now, go turn August depression into the best month you’ve ever had! All you have to do is decide. Cheers!