Time to think about the 4 R's
Relax, repurpose, reuse, recycle
In today's edition of Burke's Bits:
Is It Time to Stop Being Productive?
From the Research Files
Pun of the Day
Is It Time to Stop Being Productive?
My goodness - productivity is big business, isn't it?
If you're an executive, an operations manager, an employee, a freelancer, or a business owner...do a simple search on Google for productivity tips and you'll find thousands of pages that all pretty much say the same things. Tips from life coaches, productivity coaches, mindset coaches, business coaches. Ideas for products that improve your focus and extend your energy levels. All designed to help you be hyper-efficient, to squeeze the most production possible per minute.
I have something to say about this.
While I'm all about being productive I'm not seeing the most important tip of all on any of these lists. I think it's just as important to remember how to relax, unwind and enjoy life.
Reading blogs, books, and magazines. Taking walks in the park. Laying flat on your back in the yard and looking up at the sky to find shapes in the clouds. All are great ways to relax. Yes, you agree. And now you're asking how to know when to stop working so you can relax. Because you're so caught up in the "be productive" thinking that you've forgotten how to schedule relaxation time.
And that's what you must do - schedule it.
I learned this from a colleague. I admit...I sometimes forget to schedule relax time. After a few weeks of working just a few hours a day, I'll rest on my laurels and then ... BOOM! I'm hit with work. This is great - until it isn't. When a few weeks later I'm losing time because I forget to look up from the laptop or join a friend at a ballgame on Friday nights.
Most days, though, I'm able to work hard in the morning and take a few hours in the afternoon to relax. Some days I even remember to put it on my calendar! This means no one can schedule a meeting with me for those couple of hours. They're all mine to do with as I wish.
So when do you need to stop being productive? Do you really want to wait until your family tells you to stop being so angry at them? Or when you fall into bed exhausted...again. Or you hate doing what you used to love doing?
Why wait? Start now. Look at your calendar. Select a time to stop for an hour during the day. Use that time to relax. I also recommend that if possible you declare a full day (or at least 8 hours) as yours. And, if your time is your own as a business owner or freelancer then I recommend you plan a day or two off working in the middle of the week. This way you can enjoy public spaces without the crowds.
Think I'm crazy? If you were ever an employee you had scheduled time off - to do anything you wanted because work didn't need you. Trust me. You can do it for yourself as a business owner. You can do it for yourself as a salaried executive. You have personal time available as an employee. So...do it.
It's nearing the end of 2022. Many economists are certain that 2023 will bring a recession. So rather than panic and stop marketing your business to save money...get smart with your budget.
Diversify your marketing efforts. I know, most marketing budgets don’t allow for the pursuit of multiple channels at once. But I bet there is opportunity to advertise in areas you haven't tried. First, make sure your audience research is current. Then, look for opportunities like these:
sponsored posts in a newsletter your audience subscribes to - doesn't have to be an international company's newsletter, it can be hobby related or interest related
car wrap ad in local markets
small truck with an electronic billboard that drives the downtown area
banner ad on blogs
online event sponsorship - webinar or summit
Did I get you to day "oh, I hadn't thought of that!" Yay! Your search flame has been ignited - now go find those opportunities now so you are prepared for 2023.
From the Research Files
aka random bits of info you may or may not be able to use in your life
The Great Depression was between 1929–1941. I admire the mothers and grandmothers and fathers and grandfathers who made sure their families survived. Money was tight, in some cases non-existent. Food was scarce, sometimes non-existent. The phrase “use it up, wear it out, make do or do without” was popularized during this era, and for good reason. They were on a mission to save, repurpose, reuse, and recycle absolutely everything.
Here are 9 ways they reused or upcycled common items:
Flour sacks - literally reused as clothing. Patches were applied to pants and shirts, aprons, dresses, boys shirts, and underwear were made from the fabric.
Rabbits - a breeding pair of rabbits could be fed just about any type of produce scraps or a few handfuls of alfalfa. They reproduced quickly and were used for meat or sold to others for cash or other goods. The fur was used to line boots and to make blankets and clothing.
Washtubs - galvanized washtubs were used for just about everything: washing clothes, washing dishes, as bathtubs and water heaters. Hot summer days were perfect for heating the water in a tub left outdoors.
Presents - most children got fruit and nuts as a Christmas present. If they were very lucky, a few pieces of hard candy. People would make presents from leftover material. Broken shoelaces became woven key or watch fobs, scraps of paper were cut into small notepad sizes. Punch two holes in the top and tie with an old piece of string for notebooks or drawing books.
Sheets, towels and blankets - were never, ever thrown away until they were literally just threads in your hands. Sheets were mended and patched until they couldn’t be used anymore, then cut up into dresses, curtains or more patches for other sheets or pillowcases. Sometimes, sheets were cut into long strips and woven into lightweight blankets or rag rugs. The same was true of blankets. Towels were mended until you could literally see through them. Even then, they were cut into washcloths, cleaning clothes, or used for patches for pants and shirts.
Chickens - chickens were as versatile as rabbits. Chickens that didn’t lay eggs for a few days became dinner. Feathers were used to make or repair pillows, blankets, sometimes even saggy mattresses.
Old clothing - a knit sweater could be used in the winter and the sleeves removed for the summer. If the sweater was still good, the sleeves were sewn back on. Dresses could be cut into blouses or skirts. Pants were made into shorts, overalls made into pants.
Tires and inner tubes - tires from cars and bicycles were patched over and over. Tires were cut and used to replace shoe bottoms or to make swings for the kids. Inner tubes were usually cut up to make patches for other inner tubes or tires, but also used to make waterproof boots.
Driftwood, string and other things - every rubber band and piece of string was kept or collected to be reused when the need arose. Every paper bag was folded and saved, every cord cut off of every un-repairable appliance, and every scrap of soap was saved in a jar to melt later and be reformed into a “new” bar of soap.
Pun of the Day
I don't understand people who don't recycle.
Why would you buy a bike and only ride it once?
“Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like.” ~ Will Rogers, 1879.