The 3 R’s of Small Business – Routines Rituals and Rewards
What’s your plan to achieve your goals, does it include routines rituals and rewards?
Are you a planner or a go with the flow type of person? There’s no right or wrong here, it’s just a question of what works well for you and whether there’s an in-between where you get the benefit of both styles of living.
I’ll confess, I’m a planner.
I’ve always been a planner but in recent years, I’ve taken on a bit of the go with the flow style. When travelling, I’m the one who plans what we’ll do each day on the trip, and whilst sometimes the plan would change due to weather conditions, we pretty much did exactly what I’d planned.
More recently, I’ve not done the day by day plan but rather got a list of places to go and see and put them in priority order and if we don’t do everything that’s ok, or we might find something more interesting to do instead.
So, it should be no surprise that I also plan my weeks and days too. Not only is there the planning but there’s the routine too, eg. get up at a certain time, specific times to start work, take lunch and finish work.
There are a few things that can upset the plan.
The daily routine is completely upset for me when I travel. There’s the issue of where to go for meals, and when I’m busy with meetings or presentations, I completely forget to look at my to-do list and thus run the risk of missing deadlines. So, whilst I love to travel, it’s nice to get back to my routine.
Recently I’ve been challenged to rethink my routine.
I’m keen to walk daily and I have used the excuse for far too long that I’m not an early morning person and so it’s difficult for me to be enthusiastic about getting out of bed to go for the walk. What followed was the question about whether I have to start work at the time I do.
Interestingly, I used to start work early when I went into the office and had a team of people working for me. There were two reasons, one was to try and avoid peak hour traffic and the other was to get a jump start on the day before the team arrived and the phones started to ring.
None of that is relevant for me anymore and yet I have continued with the same routine without even thinking about it.
Rituals, whilst they may be part of the routine, are not always so.
Rituals are defined as “established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rites” and other similar wording relating to rites, public worship and ceremonies (source: www.dictionary.com). And yet we talk about rituals in a business sense, for example, it might be the way we celebrate a new client, the way we prepare for meetings or for presentations and so on.
Whether they are routines or rituals, the idea of rewards is part of the success of the plan.
As human beings we excel when we have goals to achieve, goals create desire and if you want the goal badly enough, you’ll do what it takes to get there.
It’s not dissimilar to identifying a financial goal that once you reach you can afford xyz. This includes the idea of saving up so you can afford the new car or go on holiday. And in the business sense perhaps hire a new team member, buy a new computer, go to a conference, give yourself a pay increase, the list is endless. And whilst they may not sound like rewards, in effect they are.
The key is to set your financial goals, build in the rewards, then review them regularly against actual results and track your progress to the rewards.
Routines are essential in business to ensure your invoices are being paid, that you pay your bills on time, reviewing your results regularly, and that’s just for starters. Add some rituals and rewards into the mix and you just might find that you start to enjoy the numbers more.
Whether you’re a planner or a go with the flow person, implementing some routines, rituals and rewards will help you achieve more.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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