So,we like to give advice on starting, running, and growing your fashion businesses. It’s kind of our thing. We praise time management, talk about the importance of being organized, and act as your little cheerleader for creating days, weeks, and months that are super productive and move your businesses forward. While that’s great and all, sometimes we need to just zip it because, sometimes, productivity is just not there. Some days you can’t seem to get a single thing done.
I’m not talking about lazy days (although we all have them from time to time). I’m talking about Reactionary Days. Those days when you never seem to get anything scratched off your to do list. When, no matter how hard you try to make some progress, your day is spent reacting to the many things that pop up unexpectedly.
As a business owner, you are always encountering a million little things to do and several fires to put out. But sometimes all those things and all those fires take place on the same damn day.
Every email you get, every phone call that comes through, are all problems. Issues that need to addressed and there is no one to address them but you.
You know those days when you get a emails saying things like: production is behind schedule, your email client is no longer working, your website is down, next season’s fabric is discontinued, your checkout system is not recording payments, your business cards will not arrive in time for next week’s networking event…Imagine all of those emails coming through on one single day. It’s enough to make you close your computer and get back under the covers.
Last week I had one of those days. I woke up with a plan and by 10am that plan was long forgotten. Nothing seemed to be working out the way it was supposed to and I couldn’t seem to do anything that day that wasn’t directly related to fixing problems.
At first I was upset. I have managed to accept the occasional lazy day. But I have not yet gotten used to reactionary days; when I want to be productive but just can’t. Then I realized something. This is all part of it; part of being a business owner, part of doing “my own thing”, part of life and work.
So my little piece of advice:
Embrace those days. When you realize that it’s going to be one of those days, put your task list aside and stop thinking about it. Dive into each problem as it pops up, and pay attention to how you are handling them. Ask yourself: What did I learn from this issue? Could I have handled it better or differently? Is there a system I can implement to deal with this in the future?
The point is, don’t try to make the day into anything that’s it isn’t. Because the stress you feel from the guilt of not getting any “real” work done will hinder how well you deal with what’s being presented to you.