I have a ‘Begin’ Book which I use to start my day. It started by accident.
When I was going through the coaching process to find a route to my new career (leading me to where I am today), my late coach, Cherry Douglas, encouraged me to find and keep anything which set me thinking about possible new careers. These include postcards, images from magazines, phrases from job descriptions, feedback from colleagues, headlines from articles. There were thought provoking, inspiring or just things I liked the look of. The idea was to keep them with no judgement and every so often, pull out 2 or 3 at random to imagine possible new careers.
When the exercise of collection was over, I was left with a couple of box files of material. Some I was happy to let go of and it went into the recycling bin. But other pieces had a longer lasting resonance and I wanted to keep them. They would help to remind me of my aims for my new career and focus me on a daily basis.
I bought a spiral bound scrapbook with hard covers - at first, this was just from the aspect of longevity and ease of use, but I soon discovered another purpose. I could open the book at any page and stand it up on my desk. The book also has a ribbon tie and that has added to my daily ritual.
When I get into my office every work day, I undo the ribbon tie and open the book at random.
I stand the book open at those pages next to my desk and these pages create the context for my day.
If I lose my rhythm or motivation, I can look at the pages and remind myself of my daily context. It gives me a boost, a refocus. And if I am really stuck, I can flick through the book or check the pitch at the back of the book where I keep thank you letters from clients.
At the end of the day, I close the book and retie the ribbon. (As a solopreneur, this is also a useful physical reminder for starting and ending my work day!)
The Begin cover was inspired by Twyla Tharp, as I wrote in an earlier blog.
It is a simple tool, but one which helps to start my day and keep me on track.
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