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Productivity

When it’s time to stir things up

As the year draws to a close it’s only natural that we begin to reflect on what was and think about what could be. So come on, pull up a chair and let’s have a chat.

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If you’ve ever been employed, this may be the kind of conversation you had with the boss or a work colleague. But now with no-one breathing down your neck, there’s also no-one patting you on the back, advising your next move and looking out for your career.

So for a moment,  just imagine you are back in a job. You loved it when you started, but two years later, you’re doing exactly the same work for exactly the same sort of people and you’re getting fed up with it.

The people you loved working with when you started are beginning to bore you. Elements of the work that you used to revel in now irritate you immensely.

If you were feeling like this, the chances are, you’d go to your great boss and you’d say, ‘Hey. I need to switch. I need to change. I need to get promoted. I need to do something new and exciting.’

And if your boss didn’t listen to you, you’d soon leave and go and work somewhere else.

In soloism, if a time arises where you hit a wall in this way, it’s up to you to refresh and rejuvenate your business yourself.

"Using this time of year to immerse yourself in new cultures is a great way to broaden your horizons. "

Rather than wait for the boredom to take hold, we need to proactively make changes to stay interested.

Not only should you regularly check in with how you feel, but also seek out fresh ways to run your business. For this to work you’ll need to be brave enough to stir things up. To stretch and push yourself.

A very good option can be to seek out an experienced business mentor or coach who is willing to sit with you a few times a year and be your sounding board. It’s something I do with my clients and it’s astonishing to see what comes up. Ideas that you didn’t realise you had pop up to the surface.

To keep doing the same old stuff in the face of frustration eventually leads to boredom or burnout. And that’s bad for you, your business and your customers.

Over the next few weeks, have a good think about areas of your business and life that could do with a bit of a ‘learning top up’ or refresh.

You may consider spending time in Flying Solo’s massive article library, trawling the forums, accessing the Work Your Way course (complimentary access through Premium Membership) or spending some time reviewing and attending some of the courses from the likes of Udemy or Coursera.

You might even spend a few bucks on a book! You remember books? Upskilling in these ways has never been so affordable and accessible.

Aside from online discussion, books and courses, other means of freshening things up are of course getting out and about. Using this time of year to immerse yourself in new cultures is a great way to broaden your horizons.

Similarly, picking up new hobbies and pastimes builds on skills and helps foster new ideas and approaches.

Actions like these open up new pathways in your brain and help to create a ‘growth mindset’ as Carol Dweck explained in her famous TED talk, ‘The Power of Believing That You Can Improve’.

In the presentation she concluded that each time you push out of your comfort zone to learn something fresh and potentially difficult or challenging, the neurons in your brain form new, stronger connections. A kind of ‘knowledge superhighway’.

So what don’t you know enough about yet?

Robert Gerrish

is the founder of Flying Solo and helps soloists stay upbeat and energised. He’s recently published The 1-Minute Commute, is a presenter and facilitator and works one-on-one with those needing a refresh. Find out more about his skills and services and his Olympus Trip 35 camera side hustle or connect on LinkedIn.

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