I was in a public place of business once and the company had framed on the wall their Conditions of Satisfaction when it came to their customers. I decided to fool around with that idea and think about what would need to be in place in order to create desired outcomes in my business. When we work for ourselves, we’re not guided or watched by superiors so we have to do the job of guiding ourselves and figuring out what we need to feel good about our professional lives.
I recently came across my original notes on this idea and decided to share them with you. After I read them I realized it was no coincidence that I’d come across that piece of paper as I need these reminders myself!
BK’s Conditions of Satisfaction (notes)
When I’m done with a task, I declare myself satisfied and stop. I won’t say, “Oh, I’ll do a little more.”
When I’m done with a project, I’ll add a time element before jumping into the next thing. Give myself 60 minutes to dream of my next project.
When I sit down at my desk to tackle something, be clear first about what I’m working on–a blog post, a class description, an MMB document, returning emails. Equally important, get clear about what I’m not working on.
When I hit a wall, take time for some self-care. Breathe in and out of the belly. Rotate my shoulders and then consciously lower them. Rub my hands and cover my eyes for a while. Conjure up a good feeling. Look at a photo or a collage. Soak in the good feelings. These exercises will smooth out my emotions in 10 seconds.
Remember if you get too stressed out or pushed when working on a project, you lose efficiency, confidence, and joy in what you’re doing.
Ask a mindful question
Another way to get into your day is to ask yourself a question. Try one of these:
What do I really want to do this morning?
What activity would move my business forward today?
What do I want to have completed by end of day?
What would someone who is kind to themselves do right now?
More self-care practices
Recognizing your signature pitfall is a great practice. When you find yourself doing that thing you do (berating, criticizing, comparing) reach for an alternate activity. Instead of beating up on yourself say instead, “Oh, I can do_______.” Maybe the “do” is to take a break, read something inspiring, schedule something relaxing for the evening or tell yourself, Hey, you’re doing the best you can right now.
Name your default. Mine is to be take care of everyone else before taking care of me. So I ask myself, What can I schedule that replenishes me? Is it sixty minutes to do some reading? Is it making a date to go to a movie by myself? Is it calling a friend?
Another default I have is to feel anxious if I don’t get everything done. To be gentle on myself I can remind myself that I deserve downtime too. Time away from the business is part of running a successful business. Things I could do? Declare that the day is complete and relax, mediate, do some leisure activity or snuggle up with my sweetheart and hear how his day went.
I’m pretty sure we’re all hard enough on ourselves. So putting in writing ways to be easier on yourself could be a good part of business planning.
What do you practice that helps you be kind and take care of yourself?