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How the first 10 days with a rescue dog changed the way I work.

Posted 2017-08-04 by Magdalena Bibik

10 days ago we adopted a Doberman/Greyhound from Ireland. This post is about what taking on a rescue dog has done to my productivity.

I’ve had dogs before, but it was a while ago – about 15 years. Last time I was taking care of a large dog, I was a student and had tons of time. This time, I am CEO of a solid company and I could potentially work from the moment I open my eyes till the moment I fall asleep. Which I’ve done more days that not. Even if I don’t really see it as an issue, it’s not healthy to work that much. Plus, if you analyze your productivity during a 16 hour day…. you’ll find out that you might just not be as efficient and productive all the time.

The day Zumo arrived, I cut my work amount in half. I have promised myself not to be one of those busy doggie moms who don’t take time to pet, play, educate etc. In my opinion, raising a dog is about contact, communication and mutual respect – and tons of fun – and it’s not only on the human’s terms. It’s a give and take relationship and I am happy to give him all the time  and attention that he needs. Plus, I have discovered that all this off work time has done wonders to my focus and productivity. Hear me out:

I don’t longer start my day by checking my phone.

I used to wake up to an alarm clock and the first thing I’d do was to check my e-mails. I would not even give myself a minute to collect my thoughts – I was on the go before I even stepped out of bed. Nowadays, my day starts with a few minutes of cuddle, getting dressed and taking the doggie for a morning walk of about 45 minutes. The moment we get home it’s breakfast time and some play time. At this point I have not yet checked my phone – which is absolutely amazing! Because that gives me time to mindfully start my day on a high note – it’s really hard not to wake up happy if you are attacked with kisses and cuddles.

Digital detox!

Of course, I don’t even look at the phone while walking the dog – it’s his and my time and I need/want to be focused on him. I thank the fact that he is a young adult large size high activity level rescue dog – and needs attention thereafter. I believe that if we took a puppy, we would not be as strict about the phone thing. Hence, I love that I am now basically offline 3-4 hours a day. Hand on heart, I don’t have the skills to put down my phone with my own willpower, I would not have done it without getting a dog.

Limited Time = Doing the most important thing first.

This speaks for itself. If you suddenly have limited time to do same amount of things, you need to step up your productivity. I might not do everything nowadays, and I must prioritize what is important – meaning I let “not important/non urgent” tasks go. I didn’t have a problem with it before, but now it has become crucial. I have started to batch process everything I do, which does wonders to the to do list.

Stop focusing on dumb shit.

All Gary Vee fans will relate to this one. We tend to focus on the negative parts of our work (and life), but when you have a happy soul seeking your attention, it’s easy to just let those parts go. And not dwelling on them means that you can focus you energy on stuff you need to do. Productivity 1 – Irritation 0. I’ve had a few rough days at work and I have taken my time to think about my decisions while petting my dog. I want to believe that his presence has made me more calm, sensitive and has lead to better professional choices. Yet, I AM a dog lover 2.0, so I give the dog credit for all the good things that happen. Joke aside, there is some truth to pets’ influence on the owners’ stress levels – and I have taken advantage of that big time this week.

10 days in and I have found a completely new way of working – which I love! I know that this is how I should have worked since the day I took on my position as CEO at Stockholm Comedy Club, but it took a rescue Doberman to finally get me there. I guess that you can say:

productivity rescue dogIf you missed my previous post about why I think an Entrepreneur needs a high activity level dog, read it HERE.

Before I go, I just want to give a huge shoutout to Hundar Utan Hem, who is doing an awesome job helping the dogs find new homes. We could not be happier with our Dobie.