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Wellbeing / Business psychology

The soloist rollercoaster: Plotting my next mood

I wouldn’t describe myself as moody, however my non-scientific self-analysis reveals clear trends in the ups and downs of the small business journey. It seems we’re all in a spin cycle.

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Here’s how it works for me:

Daily moods

Having recently switched from night owl to early bird, I know that early mornings or late nights are when I’m most productive, with a dip in focus in the middle of the day. 

Mood enhancers: Ruthlessly schedule uninterrupted blocks of time for important projects during your ‘on’ periods and, crucially, don’t let your inbox interrupt.

Weekly moods

I start off slowly on Mondays, settle into a rhythm mid-week and then reach full speed on Fridays, driven by the deadline pressure of the weekend.

Mood enhancers: To cater for this, I aim to spend Mondays on smaller tasks like clearing the inbox, admin and writing plans. On Fridays I avoid meetings to have a clear day working on priority projects.

"We set the agenda and control our own mood lighting. In the flurry of day-to-day, this soloist perk can be easy to forget."

Monthly moods

Inevitably there are times when you feel top of the world and others when you feel like you’re pushing you-know-what uphill. While predicting these is hard, at the end of a sluggish time I can often see a pattern of exercise skipped, poor sleep or sloppy organisation. For business owners, the ebb and flow of your financial position can also make or break the soloist mood swing.

Mood enhancers: Prioritise your health, create disciplined action lists and plans, and take control of cash flow with regular reviews.

Want more articles like this? Check out the business psychology section.

That nagging feeling

Ever get that demotivating feeling that something’s not quite right but you can’t put your finger on it? For me, this is usually the result of some very specific unfinished business – a troublesome project, looming deadline, admin clutter or an awkward conversation I’m avoiding.

Mood enhancers: Review your to-do list, your calendar and your inbox to identify exactly what’s messing with your mind. Then eliminate the issue or eat the frog and feel the world lift off your shoulders.

Fulfilment and elation

While completing a successful project or winning a great client feels fantastic, even more thrilling is the knowledge you’re working on your own business and doing something you love. We set the agenda and control our own mood lighting. In the flurry of day-to-day, this soloist perk can be easy to forget.

Mood enhancer: Be sure to celebrate successes and take time to appreciate the best bits. We are the soul traders, hear us roar!

Do you relate to the rollercoaster feeling? How do you cope with the mood swings of soloism?

Peter Crocker

looks after content at Flying Solo. As part of Business Copywriter he partners with digital agencies and corporate clients on websites and digital content. He's the co-author of Flying Solo Revisited: How to go it alone in business.

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