In life and in work, there will always be the mundane everyday tasks that you have to carry out to ensure that everything chugs along smoothly. Whether it is the quarterly accounts that need to be tabled, or the periodic and very unwelcome necessity to visit the dentist. This stuff can be pretty boring, so sometimes we can be tempted to let it go, until we really really have to, maybe because our cheques are bouncing, or because our teeth are causing us unbearable agony and we’re pretty sure we’re not going to survive the day.
A good business makes sure to get these kinds of tasks done and done on schedule, even though it may seem trivial and delayable at the time. In our studio we like to call these tasks our ‘housekeeping’ tasks. And that’s exactly what they are. They apply equally to things like keeping the office free of clutter and rubbish as they do to keeping your accounts up to date and your database free of errors.
These kinds of things are not the reason any of us got into business (unless taking care of that stuff for people who just can’t manage it is your business!). We got into business for the challenges to our skills and for what we could learn, for the exciting projects and prestigious accounts. But without the regular housekeeping that is necessary to keep a business healthy, it will be hard to grab the big clients when they come along, or even hang on to the clients you already have!
In our studio we believe ‘housekeeping’ also refers to one other aspect of a working life, and that is the mental one. Without passion, focus and energy, none of the work you produce will be as good it can be. But how can we maintain ongoing enthusiasm for the work we do over careers that span decades? Passion projects are our answer to this question, and we think it’s a good one. We’re in the process of creating some beautiful posters to share with the world, and we’re not doing it with a monetary goal in mind. We’re putting in our precious time and energy because it’s something that we absolutely love, and we know what we get out of it will be so worth what we put in times a thousand.
Passion projects can help your staff bring together their passions with the goals of the business. After all, we’re all choose to work in fields that excite us, but sometimes we can lose the connection between our excitement and our work life. Google is a stellar example of a company that implements this form of housekeeping in the workweek of their employees, and we can only see the evidence in the innovation they’ve brought into their products (and their profit margin).
So we say embrace housekeeping! It will only do you good. Pick up your feather duster (french maid’s outfit optional) and get on it!