How to detox your business (and work smarter)
Are you struggling to work through your business to-do list every day? Do you often feel drained and disheartened every evening? Learn why and how you can detox your business to work smarter.
How often have you sat back and taken stock of your business? Analysed the systems and processes you rely on, and the people you work for and with?
It’s easy to just keep plodding on with our eyes firmly fixed on the goals we’ve set ourselves, without appreciating whether or not the things we do every day, and the people we interact with, are helping us to get there – or holding us back.
To make sure you’re really working as smartly and productively as you can, it’s essential to give your business a detox every so often – as Ling Wong from Business Soulwork explains.
Why it’s important to detox your business
We don’t think twice about taking good care of our body, and cutting out food and drink we think isn’t good for us. Sometimes we even go as far as a full detox, drinking green juice, concocting potions and popping ‘magic’ pills.
And with good reason. When our body is full of toxins – when we’re slowed down by an unhealthy diet and habits – it’s harder to shift any extra weight, to feel energised and think clearly.
When you clean up your act, all of a sudden you have the energy take on the world. You feel (and look) physically great and that you can out-think Einstein.
But did you know your business may also be harbouring ‘toxins’ that are slowing down your progress, or even blocking money from flowing in?
Loose ends, unfinished projects, unresolved relationships and messy money situations are huge energy drains. They take away your focus and become a low-grade stress constantly humming in the background. Sometimes we don’t even recognise certain things are draining our energy in this manner until we go through the process of detoxing our lives and our business.
For me, creating mental space is a huge priority. Thoughts, feelings, and unfinished business can take up space in my mind, leaving me less receptive to new possibilities and income opportunities.
In this article, I am going to share a few areas where you can create more space to allow good energy and opportunities to flow in.
Clear your money clutter
Money likes to be paid attention to. If you don’t keep track of your money and take care of it regularly, it has a way to catch your attention – and usually you won’t like the situation.
Moreover, where the attention goes the energy flows – if you want to have more money in your life, it makes sense to give it some love. Here’s how you can do it.
1) Keep track of money owed
Write down every company or person who owes you money and the amount they owe. Contact each of those companies or people and find out where your money is. Keep track of the amount and all the interactions on one spreadsheet for future follow-ups.
Asking for money – even if it’s supposedly ‘yours’ – can be an uncomfortable situation for many women. It is important that you do the inner work to cultivate an empowered voice and strong boundary around money matters so you can speak up for yourself in such situations. Not stepping up to get what’s yours does not equal to being nice (which is overrated anyway…).
2) Organise your bills and receipts
Create one folder labeled ‘bills to be paid’, then pull out all your bills from counter tops, piles, etc. and put them in the folder. Look at services such as shoeboxed.com to get your expenses and receipts organised.
Create a schedule (weekly is best) for paying bills and mark the day/time in your calendar. Keep this appointment as your ‘money date’ each week. This will help you pay bills on time to avoid late fees (and keep the flow going), and know where you are spending your money so you can adjust accordingly.
3) Collect loose money
Gather up all of your loose change, then exchange it for bigger notes and spend it in the next seven days. Consider investing in your business – for example purchasing a home-study programme that will help you grow your business, or investing in someone to help you clean up your website.
You’ll be amazed how much money is lurking in jars, baskets, and your couch!!
4) Tidy up your purse
Take out your purse and clear out the clutter – receipts, credit cards no longer in use (better yet, cancel them!), slivers of shopping list, business cards of people you don’t remember… your money deserves a clean and classy home!
If your purse is torn, worn or shabby replace it with one that is new and that makes you happy.
Resource: Download this Sacred Money Archetype Assessment Kit to find out how to leverage your unique money personality for business success.
Detox your client and business relationships
Imagine being excited about (almost) everything you do in your business – who do you want to serve? Who do you want to partner with?
Letting go of ‘energy vampires’ in your business can free up space on your calendar and in your mind so more opportunities can flow in. Here’s how you can do it.
1) Say goodbye to clients from hell
If you you cringe when you see a client’s name on your calendar, or their emails in your inbox, it’s time to wrap up the work and let them go. These are the biggest energy drain and take the joy out of your work. How can you soar in your business if you dread interacting with your clients?
Letting go of clients may not be the easiest thing to do. Fears of all kinds will definitely kick in. You may be afraid that it’s not a nice thing to do. You may worry that if you fire this client you won’t be able to replace the income. You may even feel guilty about ‘breaking up’.
But trust your guts – if the relationship is sucking the life out of you, it’s not good for you, or your business. (Need more help? You can find out how to spot difficult clients here, and learn how to manage them here.)
2) Say goodbye to sub-par suppliers
Suppliers who don’t deliver quality products or services on time and on budget are putting undue pressure on you. You have other deadlines and milestones you need to meet to keep your business going and your clients happy.
When you do not have full visibility and control over the implication of such subpar work, you get stressed out – another big energy drain.
3) Say goodbye to bad partners
Business or joint venture partners who don’t live up to their end of the bargain, show up on time, or respect your time and effort should not have a place in your business. Not only it’s not fair on the ‘materials’ plane, this unequal exchange of energy is also taking a toll on your sanity.
Moreover, imagine the time and energy you free up if you don’t have to deal with these unproductive relationships!
Wrap up unfinished projects
Loose ends are energy drains… even if you *think* they are not on your radar, they are, subconsciously.
If you have too many unfinished tasks jamming up your to-do list, you will feel overwhelmed and the time you spend on looking through the list and feeling bad about it can be put to much better use!
So take a good and honest look at your unfinished projects. Why are they not done? Take a good honest look (no one is judging!) then group them into three categories:
- Projects that are no longer aligned with what you want your business to do for you. They no longer serve you and they should be closed and cease to be a chatter in your mind.
- Projects that are still aligned with your intention yet the right time has not come. They will be left on the docket and you set an intention to be open to opportunities for them to be realised.
- Projects that will take you closer to your goals, and need to be done yesterday. You need to look into the reasons why they were not accomplished – look past the excuses you may put up for yourself (which could be pretty convincing) and uncover the fear and blocks that are holding you back. These gremlins are most likely to be holding you back from other actions and decisions as well.
As you can tell, projects that fall under the third category are great exploration and learning opportunities. Instead of beating yourself up, use them to help you grow and expand.
Of course, getting to the bottom of it is takes ongoing mindfulness and efforts. But now you are aware of what is holding you back, you have a fighting chance to make a change.
Clean up your physical and virtual environment
Is your working environment clean, uncluttered and inspiring? Or are you spending time (that can be put to income-generating activities) hunting for documents, notes and files?
As we spend more time working on the computer, we want to make sure not only our physical environment is supporting us, but we also set up our virtual environment for success.
How to clean up your physically environment
- Get organised – set up a filing system for all business-related papers and documents, and commit 15-30 minutes each week to clear up paperwork.
- Ditch paper – opt for paperless statement for banking and other services whenever possible.
- Empty your mind – set up a whiteboard area for all your work in progress, for brainstorming ideas and to plan your marketing calendar. It helps you to see everything that is going on at a glance and have a place to brain dump ideas so they don’t become a constant chatter in your mind before you have the opportunity to implement.
How to clean up your virtual environment
- Clean up your desktop – a desktop packed with files is not just confusing (how much time have you spent on looking for a file?), it can actually slows down your computer. Create folders to organise your files to reduce visual clutter on your desktop.
- Audit your tech tools – have you signed up for services you have not been using, yet being billed for every month? Are these tools contributing to your work, or are they just taking up your time to figure them out? Do they add to your productivity, or add to confusion? Are they helping you better serve your clients, or are they just creating more layers between you and your clients?
- Go on a social media diet – are you spending more time looking around to see what other people are doing than focusing on your work? Do you fall into the Comparison Trap, suffer from the Bright Shiny Object Syndrome or are stuck with analysis paralysis? Limit the time you spend on social media, turn off email notifications of everyone’s posts, and unsubscribe from newsletters that jam up your inbox.
Start detoxing your business today
Have you spotted any ways you can start detoxing your business to work smarter and more efficiently?
By analysing what is no longer working for you, you can eliminate people and activities that waste your time and drain your energy – and work more smoothly and quickly towards your goals.
Ling Wong is Business Artist and Chief Freedom Fighter at Business Soulwork.