31 Things To Do in August
August can be a month when things slow down so here are a few ideas to make the most of your month.
- Change Your Mindset
“August is always a quiet month.” How about thinking and believing differently and going in to August as if your life depended on it? Not everybody is on holiday. And lots of other suppliers will assume their customers and prospects are on holiday so will be taking it easy – and working through the rest of this list! Perhaps August could be your best month.
- Call Former Clients and Associates
If it is going to be a quite month this is a good time to pick up the phone. You never quite know what’s going to come out of a call. “Funny you should phone but….”.
- Adopt a New Email Protocol
Nearly everybody complains about email. Perhaps this is the time to get to grips with it. Put your current emails in a new folder called ‘Backlog’. Deal with all incoming emails twice a day. Unsubscribe for things you don’t read or need. Teach your team not to c.c. you. Delete with a passion. Short replies. At the end of the month, start working through your backlog. Or just delete the whole backlog folder. The world will probably still keep spinning.
- Send a Postcard to Clients
The biggest cause of lost customers is perceived indifference. So KIT – Keep in Touch.
- Talk about Values, Purpose and Vision with Your Team
Check out what your team think are your values, your purpose and your vision. Have a discussion with them about these foundational elements. Discuss what vision and values look like in everyday business life.
- Determine what are your Values, Purpose and Vision.
Values = those critically important, no-compromise stars you navigate by
Purpose = why you exist as a business from the perspective of the people you serve. (It’s not to make you a rich person! That may happen as a consequence, if you meet a real need and do it effectively and efficiently.)
Vision = the emotional, attractive picture of where you’re heading. Again, your team don’t care about shareholder value or £ sales. But they might wholeheartedly journey with you to somewhere meaningful.
I’ve just written a short worksheet on finding your Values so let me know if you’d like a copy. Email Mark. Happy to help with Vision and Purpose too.
- Do Some Training
Aim to sharpen a skill or develop a new skill over the next 31 days. What training would benefit your team?
- Collect the Cash
Aim to get all your outstanding payments collected in this month. Enough is enough – get tough. If they’re decent clients they’ll pay and stay. If not they pay and leave – and that’s fine. Go out and replace them with clients who respect you and appreciate what you do for them.
Get everyone in the office involved in dumping all the rubbish that’s built up in drawers, on shelves and on computers. Agree and adopt some new protocols and disciplines for keeping things clean, tidy and orderly. The 5 Ss is a good process to follow.
- Sort Through Your Wardrobe and Drawers
Pull out everything you’ve not worn for 12 months, things that are looking tired, things that are too big or small and things that you’ll not wear again. This will make you feel loads better. I work with The Oasis Centre in Gorton. We’re always desperate for good clothes. I’m happy to pick up your excess!
- Create a New Habit
Most habits take more than 31 days to embed but you’ll be well on your way by 31 August. Start small and simple – so small and simple you can’t fail. 5 press-ups each day. 5 glasses of water each day. Smile at someone you don’t know each day. Say thank you to one of your team each day. Share 2 compliments each day. Make a call to a new prospect each day. Post 1 thing on LinkedIn each day.
- Read a Novel
If you need a practical reason, fiction helps to stimulate the imagination. But just do it for sheer enjoyment. I’m going to read The Plimsoll Sensation (from the library rather than Amazon!).
- Do Some Exercise
Walk, cycle, run, swim or do some gardening everyday for the month.
- Keep a Gratitude or Appreciation Journal for the Month
Simply write down 3 things you appreciated from your day at the end of each day. If you tie them into your personal values, the impact is even more powerful. This is one I’m going to commit to.
- Go on Holiday and Make it a Memorable Holiday
Yes, have a rest, but before you go think about and plan how you’ll make it a special and memorable time for you and the family.
- Have a Break
Even if you haven’t booked a holiday, take some time off and get away. Spend some time relaxing. Do some thinking or contemplating. You’ll be amazed what great ideas and solutions you’ll get out of some idle time away from the office.
- Planning Session
Commit to coming back in September and coming along to our ‘Develop Your Business’ Planning Workshop on Friday 8th September. A few hours invested in planning saves many hours in execution and gives you the opportunity to turn those post-holiday good intentions into an actual plan.
- Carry Out Mid-Year Appraisals and Objective Setting with Your Team
Why wait until the end of the year? Spend 25% of the time looking back (appraising) and 75% of the time looking forward (objective setting). Ask each team member to appraise themselves and ask them what they feel their 2nd half objectives should be. Those objectives are more likely to become a reality if the words come out of their mouths rather than yours.
- Skip Breakfast for a Month
Apparently it’s very healthy to allow our bodies to fast each day for 16 hours. So, finish dinner by 8pm and have lunch the following day at 12 noon. One less meal to think about and a little time to do something else – and you’ll save a little money too! I’m trying this one. Let me know how you get on.
- Get Back in Touch
Speak to those people you’ve meaning to speak to for…years! Perhaps track down some old pals you’d like to get back in touch with.
- Surprise Your Children
Do something special with the children once each week. Take them out for lunch. Climb a tree with them. Read the same book as them. Have a pillow fight. Watch a film together and then all sleep on the lounge floor.
- Treat Your Car
Give your car a top-notch valet. And then keep it like that for the rest of the year. First impressions do count.
- Treat Your Spouse
Take them out for lunch. Climb a tree with them. Read the same book as them. Have a pillow fight. Watch a film together and then sleep on the lounge floor together.
- Build Community
Invite your neighbours round for a meal or a barbeque.
- Love Your Neighbour
Do the shopping or gardening for one of your elderly neighbours.
- Random Act of Kindness
Every time you find yourself in a coffee shop, buy a coffee for the person behind you in the queue. Or pay for a coffee and ask the staff to give a free coffee to someone who comes in and looks like they’ve had a tough day.
Share some value-add with your chosen audience by writing a blog each week. If you need some help getting going, send me a sentence about the service/product you provide and I’ll send you 4 blog headlines. Once you have a title or headline you’ll find it easier to write 300-400 words. I’m also happy to help you upload them and get them circulated on social media. Email Mark.
- Cost Reduction
If you have a little more time this month go through all your costs. Is there anything you don’t need to be paying for any longer? Could you be getting the same service for less cost somewhere else? At the very least, you could ask your current suppliers for a better deal – lower cost price, a rebate, better terms or some marketing support. If you don’t ask you won’t get.
- Travel Wish List
If you’re not going away, list out the places you’d like to go one day. Include some local low costs places that you’ve always wanted to visit. You can perhaps tick-off one or two of them in August! If you’re short of ideas, scan some travel brochures, ask other people where their best destinations have been, ask your partner or children what their travel dreams are. If there’s a dream holiday you want one day, set a date for when you’ll go, work out how much it’ll cost, determine what’s got to happen for that money to appear in your bank account – and then get on making it happen! Perhaps download an image of the place and use it as a screen saver.
- Listen to Someone’s Story
Find the time, humility and courage to invite a homeless person for a full English breakfast and listen to their story. Everyone has a story. And we all like to be listened to.
- Learn to Juggle
Just for the heck of it. Prove to yourself that you can learn a new skill. Impress your kids! As with most things these days, loads of videos on YouTube that’ll teach you how to do it. In essence, it just comes down to persistence and practice over a few days.
- …and do join us for Planning Day on 8th September!