As a small business owner, it is normal to feel the pressure to be ‘on’ all year round (because sadly, the bills don’t pause during winter). However, being aware of nature’s cycles—and tapping into the energy of each season—can help you build your business sustainably over the long haul.
After a winter season of reflection and consolidation, early spring is the ideal time to prepare for the growth phase of the cycle and make space for new opportunities and greater joy to enter into your life.
*Note: Please don’t feel you have to do all of these. Pick one or two that feel right for you… Working with seasonal energy is meant to be about ease and flow, not stress and overwhelm.
Here are few ideas to spring clean your business.
Declutter your workspace
Even if you’re not normally a particularly tidy person, a clean desk and office space is sure to lift your mood and improve your focus. It’s also a much more productive way to procrastinate than scrolling social media!
So do your filing, clean out the multitudes of promo pens in your drawers, and invest in some attractive storage boxes to keep all the bits and bobs hidden away. Only keep things on your desk that are necessary to your daily work or that bring you joy (e.g., a family photo). And give everything a thorough wipe over, including your screen and keyboard.
Sort out your tech
Do a full back up of your files and archive finished projects, emails, and receipts onto an external drive. You may also like to pop a copy onto a cloud server for easy access. Once this is complete, you can delete everything you don’t need to hand from your hard drive and phone. Clean up your computer desktop, and either file or trash anything you don’t need quick access to.
Close down all your browser tabs—bookmark them if you need to find them again. Set up a password database rather than saving your passwords through your browser, so you can clear your cache every now and then. They’re more secure that way, too. Turn off all your notifications from your email and message apps and choose a regular time each day to check them instead.
If you find social media, news sites, or messaging are distracting you from your work, you might like to install a productivity/blocker app (there are loads of options!), so you can only access these sites at certain times.
Last of all, unsubscribe from any apps or software you no longer use—this will save you money too!
Get your finances in order
If you haven’t separated your business bank account from your personal account, now is the time.
Download and file all your digital receipts so that if you got audited you’d know where to find them, and ditch old receipts and files you no longer need for tax purposes (usually five years, but check with your accountant first).
Consolidate your superannuation and check your life/TPD/income protection insurance plans are what you need. It’s also a good idea to set up an automatic payment into your super. It’s a ‘set-and-forget’ way to ensure you won’t be caught short later in life. While we’re talking about super, you might also like to consider the environmental and ethical impacts of your fund, as well as fees and financial returns. It’s not hard to switch to an alternative fund if the one you’re currently with doesn’t align with your values or have a great performance record.
Spring clean your calendar
We were all in such a rush to return to ‘normal’ after the pandemic, that you may now find that your schedule is full to the brim again. It doesn’t have to be this way.
As small business owners, we do love to maximise our income from our working hours, but it’s really important to invest in our wellbeing, too. Block out a regular time during your working week simply for ‘white space’. This gives you permission to spend time thinking, creating, learning, or just sitting back and letting the back-burner brain do its thing.
Outside of work, look at your family’s activities and commitments as a whole. What brings each of you the most joy? Where are the stresses? While it’s great for our kids to learn new things and be involved in extra-curricular activities, if it’s causing you to feel rushed or over‑stretched, it might not be worth it. To put things in perspective… they have a whole lifetime ahead!
Remember, you don’t have to do it all! Implementing just one or two of these ideas over the next few weeks will help you tap into spring’s energy and deliver a renewed sense of purpose and joy to your business.
So dust off those winter cobwebs and spring into action!
This article was originally published on flyingsolo.com.au and has been edited for brevity and republished here with permission.