Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Re-Charge Your Batteries (12/26/07 - 1/2/2008)

Yesterday was Christmas. Part of me is glad it's over. All of the driving (I'm in Kentucky), last minute shopping, and eating has officially worn me out. Last night my brother in-law and I capped off the day by playing my sons Nintendo Wii bowling game until midnight (17 games in a row!). I'm almost embarassed to admit it but, we became addicted. So addicted in fact, we had to replace the batteries to the Wii controller.

Changing the batteries got me thinking... the wear and tear on the controller is a great metaphor for those of us who have worked way too hard over the past year. More than ever, this year's Holiday calendar is a great time to recharge our own 'internal' batteries.

As I sit here at a Starbucks in downtown Lexington, KY I've decided to declare this location as the temporary Midwest Headquarters for Fast Pitch! (for the record, I'm staying in Frankfort, KY). I plan to make the 30 mile drive along Ol' Frankfort Pike every morning to this Starbucks partly because the drive itself will help re-charge my battery. Something about seeing the rolling hills and horsefarms provide me with a different level of clarity and creativity that is often missing during my daily regimen in Sarasota, FL.

Over the next few days I plan to continue to work 8 hour days... but I plan to work differently. Rather than performing my usual day-to-day tasks, I'm going to focus on all of the things I continue to place on the back burner. For many of you, this next week is a perfect opportunity to do the same (it's going to be a tough week for business). Whether you are still heading into work each day, booting up your grandfathers old IBM desktop in West Palm Beach, or typing away at a Starbucks, here are a few ideas to help get you organized and re-charged heading into 2007:

  • Create! - Regardless of your position (business owner, sales executive, etc...), use this time to step back, look at your business and think 'out of the box'. Think of creative new ways to drive new business. Spend this week brainstorming and writing down every idea you can think of. Save them. Your brain may not get another chance to do this once the New Year comes around.

  • Backup Your Data - I mean really back up your data. Get it all off of your computer. Clean off your desktop, clean out your folders, etc... Try and remember how it feels to turn on a brand new computer for the first time... Now do everything you can to get your computer back to that status (clear your background image, remove unused programs, etc...).

  • Change Your Passwords - Why not? It can't hurt.

  • Change Your Email Address - Particularly if you are receiving a lot of SPAM. Now is a great time to change your address. Send out a warning to all of your contacts letting them know that you will no longer be checking the 'old' inbox in the coming weeks. Be sure to change the address on all of your accounts (logins, etc...).

  • Stretch! - If you've worked 8 hour days during 2007, chances are you've spent almost 2,500 hours in a chair staring at a computer. Scary huh? If you are like me, your body at one time or another has felt the effects. As I reach the latter half of my 30's, I've come to realize that more than anything, my body lacks flexibility... which seems to dictate everything else (abs, strength, etc...). Start out slow... but use this week to get yourself into a routine.

  • Ignore - Let phone calls go to voicemail. Don't worry about paying the bills. Ignore IM messages. Prioritze your customers - spend time only on those that have potential to bring you more business. Again... steer clear of the day-to-day tasks... and do things that have a chance to have a lasting effect on your business heading into 2008.

Check back for more ideas in the coming days... as I continue to re-charge.