When you think about it, Market Traders have a big advantage over many of our contemporaries. We can put closure on our days work and focus on things like family, social activities, or just plain relaxing, much easier than other groups.
Workplace literature is full of suggestions for seperating work and private life as an important component of maintaining healthy minds and avoiding work stress. Much has been written about setting markers at the end of the working day to achieve that separation. For market traders closing the shop front or, probably the ultimate separation, completely packing up your stall, is a great way of stepping away from work.
This sort of end-of-day activity might explain why it can be so difficult to get Market Traders to attend after hours information sessions. They have already switched off in a very positive and clear way. There is no blurring of lines between work and private life for Market Traders. The door is closed, or the stall us packed, and “I’m off!”
Of course even market traders can sometimes find it hard to turn off. And this is where the literature designed for the rest of the workforce can include some handy tips -
1. Write notes - anything left undone at the end of the trading day should be parked on a written list for attention when you re-open.
2. Leave your stall or shop tidy - that cements the completion of the day and readiness for tomorrow.
3. Develop techniques for answering that inevitable after hours question from family or friends - “How was your day?” or “How was business?”. You don’t really want to step back into business mode so maybe divert the question by recalling a happy social event during the day, perhaps a great customer, or return with the question “My day was fine. What great things happened for you today?”
4. “Focus on the things you can control”. This is a recent line from Michelle Obama that has particular relevance for Market Traders. There are many factors influencing retail right now over which we have little or no control. The things that we can productively focus on are presenting our businesses in the best possible light, and excelling in customer service. The rest just has too many frustrations.
Good luck with your own work/private life balance.