The Art of Putting Out Fires

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Putting out fires... a term my old boss at New Line frequently used in moments of stress. This may be one of the most stressful weeks ever, aside from craft fair hell week and the holidays. But those are expected. Second week of February... raaaaandom!! Anyway, sitting in my car, heart racing from stress, I thought about all the things I do to counter anxiety, and I thought I'd share how I put out the fierce blazing fires in my business. In no particular order:
1. Write Everything Down
To do lists, weekly goals, conversations with clients, who to email, etc. Not only does it free your mind (and the ressssst will folloowwww), but it's a nice way of repeating things back to yourself. In arguments, I've found repeating back what the other person has said helps calm the situation. Why not use it on yourself! :)

2. Delegate Tasks
Whether you have a whole staff of helpers, an intern, or in my case a very savvy younger sissy face, learn to share the load. This can be as simple as asking your boyfriend to mail your day's Etsy orders on his way to work (heyyy thaaaaanks, Kevin!). Be honest with yourself and spot the items on your to do list that never get checked off. That's a sign someone else needs to do it for you.

This one's my favorite! Oh such wise words from Tom & Donna of Parks & Recreation. Remember to give yourself a break! Mentally and with some mimosas! Treat Yo Self!

4. Learn to Say NO
Being an entrepreneur, your impulse is to take every project. Especially when you're starting out. Truth is you deeefinitely don't have to, especially if they're projects you don't like or with clients you don't enjoy collaborating with. Money ideally shouldn't be the driving force for choosing your projects. I usually ask myself two questions when picking projects: Will this project make me happy? And will this project help me grow?

5. Don't Falter Under the Pressure
What I mean by that is don't lose sight of your style, core values, sensibilities, etc. Stress makes you vulnerable and I've found it's in those moments I want to do something a little safe, trendy, and/or similar to something previously done. Don't! Not only is it terribly irreverent, you're not being true to the voice that made you successful in the first place. Never. Forget. NEVER! hehe

6. Let it OUT!
Go for a run, do some yoga, scream into a pillow, vent to a close friend, or have a cathartic cry (my favorite). It's no good bottling all that energy so release it. And do so in a way that you won't regret.

7. Clean
I totally published the post before I remembered this one. CLEANING!! It does wonders. I love cleaning my room and office when I'm stressed. For whatever reason, it translates to my state of mind. Try it. Fo serious.

Phew! Well, I actually do feel better writing all that out. I'm curious how other people deal with stress. Feel free to share!

Okay, time to do work :)
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