Dealing with the mundane in your business
Author: Jocelyn Serone
How to mix up the boring with the creative in your small business
Recently, we have been working on a boring order. It is a large order with all the items the same except that the colours change. As I am trained as a creative & not a factory worker, this is not how I want to spend my days- sewing a production line of pieces that all look the same. After all, I am my own boss- why not sew interesting garments that stimulate my creative side all week long?
Why not… because this customer is one of my most loyal customers. We have sewn for her for literally years.
Why not…..because this order helps to pay my bills.
Why not….because sometimes life is just plain mundane.......
It has been 20 years since I started my business and after all these years, I still love Monday mornings! I am still in love with my business & couldn’t dream of doing anything else or working for anyone else. But as much as I love my job, there are always mundane or boring chores that just have to be done. Bookwork, orders that don’t engage with your artist side & tidying up your work area are all chores that need to be done. These jobs are a basic part of any business, or life in fact.
In this world of picking & choosing exactly what song we want to listen to (remember when we used to listen to a whole CD?) & watching TV shows on demand, we have forgotten that sometimes we actually have to do some things that don’t excite us. That’s just life!
Here are a few tips for pushing through the mundane chores that are necessary in your business…..
- Put on some good music- the ultimate remedy to get you in a good mood to tackle a boring chore. Depending on your mood, try some rock to get your groove on or if you want to be a bit mellow, try my favourite at the moment, Acoustic Covers on Spotify. Guaranteed to help you breeze through your bookwork!
- Break up your tasks- when you are tackling a large, boring task or order, plan a day in between to break up the monotony. The order we are working on at the moment is being broken up with sampling work from other customers, just to save our sanity! Coming back to an order after a break can often give you a renewed burst of energy to complete it.
- Have a cup of tea!- every fortnight, I write my blog post & schedule my social media posts. A midway break for a cup of tea (or coffee, depending on how much of a caffeine hit I require!) is compulsory to clear my head & proceed to add the finishing touches. Similarly, a walk outside for 5 mins does wonders for clearing your head & oxygenating your brain, ready to tackle some bookwork again. Try some star jumps or sun salutations, if that’s your thing!
- Accept the mundane- I find by changing my mindset from dreading a task to accepting that it needs to be done can really make a difference. Accepting that bookwork is a necessary part of any business, accepting that those orders that don’t excite me are paying my bills. Over the years, I have had a few customers who had basic clothing styles that I would call “bread & butter” styles. These styles were part of these customers clothing range that could be manufactured & sold without any effort- classic, basic styles that would literally pay for these customers “bread & butter” (groceries & bills) for the week. While I understand that these garments became boring to my customers, it was interesting that as all of these customers cut back these styles, their businesses failed. In fact, some of these businesses closed down. These mundane styles were the backbone to these businesses & should have been combined with the creative endeavours to keep these businesses profitable.
- Outsource the mundane- if the mundane tasks are really holding you back in your business, why not outsource these jobs? Both locally & online, there are so many jobs that can be accomplished by others. From bookwork to cleaning to manufacturing, pass these chores onto somebody else who loves doing what you hate & spend more of your time being creative!
I hope this gives you a fresh perspective on what is naturally part of life- the boring & the exciting. Well, I’m off to tackle that lovely, large boring order again! Have a great day!