I know we’ve all been there – it’s 1am and the list of orders to be made doesn’t seem to be getting any shorter. The event day is looming and you’re exhausted, overwhelmed and not sure you’re going to get through this week. Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, the middle of peak wedding season, as great as it is to be busy, it’s hugely stressful.
In the past five years of running our business, I’ve learned a few tricks to get through these periods. When you’re in the middle of it, you wish you had done just a little bit more to get organised. So here are my top tips:
- Get Organised – There are so many details that go into planning an event or sorting through Mother’s Day weekend. I’d suggest you get as much of the non-perishable stuff sorted today as you can. Get your ribbons together, your candles sorted, you cards written. The more you can get done now, the less you need to do on the big day.
- Food Prep – How you fuel your body is so incredibly important and when you’re tired and low on energy, you’re body is going to be crazy sugar. Stay one step ahead and get your food sorted for the whole week. Even if it’s soup six nights of the week, who cares? Take-away from the chicken shop? Fabulous. Only in the past few weeks have I become a true food planner but I cannot begin to tell you how helpful this has become. If I know I have dinner sorted before the day even begins, that’s one less decision I need to make today and I can focus on getting through the never-ending list of to-dos.
- Prioritise Sleep – I am a person who needs a lot of sleep. I have been ever since I was a little babe. In my 20s, I tried to get by with a little bit less but as I get older, I realise I function best on 7-8 hours every night. Now, I know when we’re in the midst of those hectic weeks, sleep is sometimes the first thing to suffer. But for me, I do everything I can to try to get to bed at a decent hour and sleep (or at least be in bed) for seven hours. If you want to learn more about the importance of sleep, Arianna Huffington is a great place to start.
- Make time for yourself – I know, it seems counter-intuitive to make yourself a priority when you think you should be spending another 30 minutes chipping away at the orders, but you’re in this for the long haul. It’s is impossible to build yourself up for a successful flower business if you aren’t finding ways to recharge your batteries, reinvigorate your soul and stepping away from the crazy. For me, it’s sometimes as simple as watering the plants, taking the dog for a slightly longer walk or having a bath with a good book. When I make enough time, my ideal recharge is a few hours at the local movie theatre. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as feel it is something that allows you to step away from the nuttiness of the everyday and reconnect with yourself.
- Learn to say No or at least ‘Not Right Now’ – Believe me when I tell you, this is a forever lesson to be learning. I am the first to jump at new opportunities and every day I feel like I come up with some new idea for the business. But when you’re in the midst of the crazy, it’s not the time to start something new. And when those new opportunities come from partners, customers or clients we sometimes put even more pressure on ourselves to immediately jump on the idea. Guys, it’s more than OK in these windows of extreme business it’s totally OK to tell them “Yes I am super keen on working with you but this week is just really full on for me.” Even a simple auto-reply on your email is a great place to start. Acknowledge their email and tell them it’s unlikely you’ll be able to respond in the next 7-10 days (make the window longer than you think, give yourself a little extra time to respond). And even ask them to follow up with you 10 days later – it’s OK to put the responsibility on to them.
- Ask for help. Now this is something I am horrible at. I’m incredibly stubborn and always want to be self-sufficient. I’m like a little kid that wants to prove to the world that I can be a super hero, I can do it all on my own. But I know it’s physically not possible. I just can’t. And these days, sleep is such a priority for me that I constantly have to remind myself, if I can get one more pair of hands to help me with this, I can be done sooner and that always means being in bed even earlier. And that to me is the best option. For you, it might be being at home with the kids, playing with your dog or watching another episode of the latest Netflix show. Whatever it is, ask yourself, if I could pay another person $25 – $30 an hour to help, what could that get me? It’s not an easy adjustment to make, but over time I feel like this has made a dramatic impact on our ability to run a more sustainable business.
At the end of the day, when I’m in the middle of the stress, I live by the adage ‘this too shall pass’. And inevitably, it always does. And every time out, I’m always glad I’ve done as much as I can to prepare.