It’s no secret that everyone dreams of success. However, it’s not enough to dream of success, anyone can do that. It’s not even enough to set a few goals. Anyone, can do that too. The truth is, the only way to truly achieve your dreams and build the business you’re meant to build is to actually sit down, take ACTION and just do it. And that’s where many of us…well, fail is a strong word so I’ll say come in second place.
We overbook our calendars until today’s to-dos become next week’s past dues. We procrastinate on the things that are important while attending to things that are merely “nice to do.” You know, like checking facebook when you have a goal of writing a personal book. And sometimes we simply take on too much—even when we know better. The one thing I love to say is the word “NO” is a sentence.
I have found a few things that top leaders, coached and entrepreneurs live by daily. I believe that if you embrace this habits, you will get more done in less time.
- Rituals and Habits: Simply put, a ritual or habit is a consistent way of doing something. My morning ritual (wake up, brush my teeth, work out, shower, and head to my office), my evening ritual (check email, watch the evening news, and sometimes work until midnight), my weekend ritual (sleep late, tell hubby to mow the lawn, catch a movie, visit my friends), and many others.
The trouble is, if you’re not careful with your rituals, they can turn into productivity killers. Is checking Facebook or email a part of your morning ritual? Is checking your Instagram and Twitter a part of your at work ritual? Distractions such as these can turn even your best intentions into hours of wasted time.
Take a good look at your rituals. What are you doing that you should not be—or that should be moved to another part of your day? Make your rituals more efficient and you’ll automatically get more done.
- Calendar Management: This was a tough one for me. Want to know how much time you really have available for that new project? Try blocking off time in your calendar for all your existing projects. Fill in all your client calls, your business administrative tasks, time for meals and breaks, outside appointments, and everything else you’re committed to. What’s left might just shock you.
It’s extremely important that you make it a habit to block time in your calendar for every commitment, and you’ll never again over-promise or over-commit.
- Learn to Let Go: Here’s a news flash. You do not have to do everything in your business. You can (and should) hand off those low-level tasks to someone else. Hire a Virtual Assistant to create your documents and manage your calendar. Let your tech support person manage your blog and email. Turn over your bookkeeping to an accountant. The time you free up will allow you to work on what’s truly important—and that only you can do.
- Work Hard, Play Harder: You are not a machine. You cannot work all day every day and hope to be at your best all the time.
Take a day off. Get some rest, or relax on a long, slow hike. Take a friend out to lunch. Go shopping with your kids. See a movie or a play. Do something—anything—other than work.
Not only will you return to the office feeling much more refreshed, but you’ll find yourself more creative and productive than before as well.
- Focus: Multi-tasking is impossible. You cannot efficiently create a new coaching program while you’re simultaneously surfing Facebook, keeping an eye on the kids, and answering the phone every time it rings.
Instead, use your calendar to block time off for important tasks, then turn everything else off so you can focus. No phone, no Facebook, no kids or husbands or neighbors or pets demanding “just a minute” of your time. Tune everything out, and you’ll find your work getting done much faster.
Managing your time and turning up your productivity is not something that comes naturally to most people but when you learn to master this skill, you’ll find your business grows right along with you.