Hell yes she can! Here’s why.
People picture me as the little smiling lady who’s always calm under pressure. And I am. Most of the time.
But a few weeks ago, a friend who was working with me in my office, turned to me with a look of horror on her face and said, ‘Leanne, you have an anger problem’. All I could do was laugh.
I had spent the morning yelling at my technology. I was sooooo mad at it. Why the heck couldn’t it keep up with me?
To be fair, I shouldn’t fully blame my technology as my brain plays a part. From a very young age, my brain and I have been at war. My brain was telling me to crawl to reach the shiny things, but I wouldn’t listen as it was easier to lay still.
Fast forward a few years, and my brain and I are still at war – same principle, different shiny things to reach.
You see, as an Online Business Manager, I LOVE what I do. But at times, it requires an intense level of concentration. When I’m entirely in the zone, my brain goes into overdrive, and the war starts all over again.
My brain is zipping through the tasks that need to be done, thinking of ideas and solutions and future projects, where my technology (and the rest of me) is saying, ‘whoa chick, slow that down’.
And that’s when those little voices from my brain appear, yelling relentlessly at the poor technology for lagging and being too slow. Sorry technology!
Maybe it’s a curse of an online business manager
When it’s your job to be organised, it’s only natural that your brain races a million miles an hour right? So really, my over-active brain makes me perfect for my role (along with those over-active ovaries of mine…).
But I’ve also had to learn how to wrangle my brain and work out how to capture my thoughts, so I don’t hit mega burnout. Here are my top 5 ways to survive slow technology:
Using two computer screens
This is not rocket science, and you’ve probably already heard about this one. But let me tell you how rad it is. When you’re comparing two documents (rewriting, analysing, referencing etc.), there’s nothing worse than having to open and shut tabs. Having two screens means:
- I can have two documents open at the same time and only need to move my head slightly to see both
- I can work on two tasks at once – one on each screen. If I’m waiting for an answer to complete a piece of work, I can leave it open on one screen, while I continue working on the second screen
A quality wireless headset
Honestly, it took me a while to warm up to the idea of wearing a headset. I mean seriously, who wants to spend their day looking like one of those guys who direct the planes into the hanger at the airport? But it is awesome. It was expensive, but it’s worth it.
My headset allows me to:
- Answer my mobile, computer or desk phone with one device (it even works out which one is ringing and gives me a different tone, so I know how to answer)
- Be mobile – I can offer reception services without being tied to my desk all day long
- Use both hands to take notes or work on tasks while I’m on the call – handy if it’s a client briefing meeting and I need to make a to-do list
Keeping my brain clear of clutter
If you’re a fellow business owner, you’ll know what I mean by this. It’s all those little things floating around in your head (don’t forget to…, the password is 7648banana, finish the prototype cloning machine…) that stop you from thinking clearly and staying focused.
To do this I:
- Create lists in my task manager program, using the ‘remind me’ feature
- Prioritise my workload to hit all deadlines
- Still use a paper to-do list for the daily tasks
Doing intricate tasks in the morning
Morning is my sweet spot. It’s the time of day that my brain is fully awake and revved up to conquer the day. Everyone has their primetime depending on their circumstances, but mine is 7.30am. Bright and early. I make sure I have this time of the morning blocked off for my complex tasks.
When working this early in the morning:
- Things happen quicker without other interruptions (most clients don’t start working until at least 9am)
- My brain is fresh and alert, so I think of solutions quicker and more clearly
- My mood is happier – I haven’t faced any pressures from the day
Factor in time for interruptions
It never matters how organised you are, interruptions are guaranteed. And they come in many different forms – babies not sleeping, sick kids, being tagged in a Facebook post…For me, there’s nothing worse than being on a roll with a project and being stopped continuously with little interruptions.
Conquer little interruptions by:
- Scheduling time for them! If my assistant needs help, I let her know that I’m working on a project and that I can help her at xx time. She’ll work on something else until then
- Arrange sitters who can look after your kids and lock your office door
- Divert your phone to either an answering service or a colleague
Over to you
If you’ve ever been a mad person yelling at your computer, I’d love to hear your stories. Did anyone catch you out and thought you’re a tad crazy? Did your fur baby take off thinking they’d done something? Did you partner slowly back away, unsure of what was going on?
Please share your story and this blog post.