I was so frustrated, stressed and overwhelmed with my work. After hours of unsuccessfully being able to balance my business’s books, I was ready to scream. It was just wrong to be inside on such a beautiful autumn Saturday. I’d given up weekends when I traded my office job for my own business. Now I do my work Monday through Friday, and spent a few hours each weekend on my books and catching up with tasks I did not accomplished during the week.
My dog would probably argue that she hadn’t approved the fine print of that deal. With paper spilling across the kitchen table and the sloshing of the washing machine in the background, I pulled the ball of her mouth and tossed it without looking at her. Instead of fetching it, she sat at my side, jabbing my arm with her big cold nose. She didn’t chase it. Instead, she began determinedly jabbing my arm with her nose. I turned to scold her, but her face stopped me. Without words, she made it clear I was being an idiot.
If I ever win an prize for my consulting business, I’ll have to thank Timba and mention that afternoon in my acceptance speech. She put her paw down about the way I was running things, and once I started to look at it, what I was doing was ridiculous. I had put a bunch of time into dog training courses, and now it was my dog turn to teach me a thing or two.
For starters, by trying to do too many things at once, I wasn’t doing any of them well. The bookkeeping stopped taking over my weekend once I stopped trying to make dinner, text friends, do the laundry and play with my dog at the same time. I know it sounds funny but how many of us are multitasking that way.
Multitasking may be hot buzzword, but it’s not such a hot way to run a business. When stress sets in, production and creativity go down, customer service suffer, and business do not do so well.
My dog only does one thing at a time. When she chases a squirrel, her whole focus is on the squirrel. Okay, she hasn’t caught one thankfully, but exchanging my multitasking efforts for doing one thing properly before moving on the next has enabled me to approach my work with the same intense focus but with much better results.
Doing one thing at a time and completely focusing on and immersing myself in that one thing helps me organize my day and finish tasks on schedule. I now have more free time and do not have to work week end.
Abandoning my efforts to multitask has also helped me live in the moment, another skill at which Timba excels. She doesn’t worry. She’s entirely in the now, which means that her energy isn’t distracted and dispersed. Reviewing a client’s staff structure, texting and responding to emails do not work.
Now instead of constantly thinking one step ahead and worrying about planning the next thing before I’ve finished the first thing, I just stay in the moment and focus. It’s amazing how much more productive and creative I am in my work.
Thankfully, I decided to get up from the kitchen table that glorious Saturday afternoon and I took Timba for a long walk. It gave me a chance to ponder her marvelous attitude and what I could learn from it. Life lessons sometimes come from the most unexpected place like your four legged friend or a child.
1 – Don’t Multi-Task
Do one thing at a time and do it well. Stay focus. I found that splitting my day in blocks helped me accomplish more. I have one block in the morning and one in the evening where I take care of emails. I returned my calls mid morning and mid afternoon. The rest of the time I stay focused on what need to get accomplish that day. I have found that I get a lot more done that way
2 – Be In The Moment
Abandoning my efforts to multitask has also helped me live in the moment.My energy isn’t distracted and dispersed.
Now instead of constantly thinking one step ahead and worrying about planning the next thing before I’ve finished the first thing, I just stay in the moment and focus. It’s amazing how much more productive I am in my work.
3 – Don’t Give Up
Being a small business owner is not easy. When things get tough, relaxing helps clear the mind and move forward
4 – Be Grateful
Dogs are natural at showing gratitude. Gratitude is another key to success in business.
5 – Take Breaks to Play and Enjoy Life
A good walk, time spent with family, fun are simple ways to refuel our energy and keeps us going. And … while we take time off let’s not worry about anything or think about the next business meeting.
I did not expect my dog to be my business coach and I have embraced these lessons. I’ve become a happier and more relaxed person and my business has flourished. And Timba is pretty happy about not having to nag me so much anymore!
Dog lover and entrepreneur, Catherine Potin brought both passions together and offer free dog training tips from experts and other dog resources at HappyDogConnections.com
About the author:
Catherine Potin is a successful entrepreneur and publisher of Healthy Facial Care. Her drive is to create a multi facet program to healthy skin from the inside out. This concept brings together the interlink of diet for a clear skin, natural facial care and time out in your home spa. Each step is unique and with that makes it easy to choose the appropriate regimen for your skin and well being.