I've been watching you, and I'm a little worried. So please don't think I'm crazy, but I'm going to put on my coaching hat and I'm even going to grab my whistle because you and I need to have a heart to heart talk.
I couldn't help but notice that you still haven't built your business to the level you know you're capable of. In fact, I suspect you aren't even close. And I know what you're going to say – it's because you don't have enough time to work your business.
You're busy. I get that. The question isn't how busy are you, but rather what is it that you're busy doing? What is more important than the very business you created to have more time, more freedom and more of a LIFE?
Did you know that you use more brain power and burn more calories when you're sleeping than you do when you're watching TV? Not only that, but most people actually feel worse after watching TV than they did before they watched it. So if you're still watching TV, the question has got to be... WHY? It's taking your time and possibly inching you towards the vegetable side of the IQ chart every time you watch it.
Every moment spent watching TV or any other purposeless activity is a moment you lose forever, a moment you could have invested in your future.
That's why you might want to cancel TV. Cancel the cable. Cancel the satellite. Heck, pack the TV back up in the box it came in and store it in the attic for a month just to see what happens. You might find you're growing your business a whole lot faster.
Or think of it backwards – what if 30 days ago you had chucked the TV and spent all of that time on your business instead? How much further ahead of the game would you be today?
But why stop at TV? Is Facebook a big time waster for you? Twitter? Pinterest? Consider de-activing your accounts, even if it's just temporarily. Choose to completely ignore the other social networks as well. Of course if you're using social media to do your marketing, than that's a different story. Decide in advance exactly how much time you will spend working your business through social media, and do not deviate from that plan for 30 days.
Then there's your phone and Skype. Turn them off for at least a portion of the day, every day while you're working. Imagine how productive you'll be without these constant interruptions.
Does all of this seem too hard? Then don't do it. Instead, continue to waste your time on things that don't really matter rather than building your future. It's really up to you.
I know, I'm a mean coach. But mean coaches get things done.
Now then, I want to talk about mindset. HEY! You over there, I just saw you roll your eyes. Know why? Because you're heard it before, right? Let me clue you in. (And if by chance you're already practicing what I'm about to preach, then good for you and double kudos, good job!)
Alright then, here goes: If your mindset isn't right, you won't succeed. You simply won't. You'll muck up whatever it is that you're trying to do. They call it self-sabotage, and 99 people out of 100 are brilliant at sabotaging their own work without ever having a clue what they're doing, all because of mindset. Somebody tells you in 5th grade that you can't do it, whatever it is, and here you are 20 or 30 years later and you're still playing the “I can't do it” song in your head, only you don't know it.
So first thing every morning, you've got to get your mindset right. It's like brushing your teeth, only MORE important. If you forget to brush your teeth one morning, you can still have a great day. But if your mindset sucks your day will suck and you won't get anything worthwhile accomplished. It's that simple.
So first, check in with yourself. Are you happy? Confident? Grateful?
Here's what to do: To get happy, close your eyes and relax. Straighten your back and put your head back. Smile. Just smile. I don't care if it's a fake smile. If you can't smile, place a pencil in your mouth so it's touching both corners of your mouth. Leave it for a couple of minutes while you think back on your happiest memories. While you're at it, remember your best achievements, too.
The smile (or the pencil activating your smile muscles) is telling your brain you're happy. Yes, smiling when you're not happy tells your brain you're happy and makes happy chemicals in your brain. I am not kidding. Sitting or standing straight and erect makes you feel more positive. Remembering happy memories makes you happy. No surprise there. And recalling times when you had terrific successes bolsters your confidence.
When you're done with this exercise, get out your gratitude journal and write down 10 things you're grateful for. Do this daily. Yes, just DO it. Humor me. I know you're thinking this is silly, but what if it makes a tremendous difference in your day? What if you get more done? What if you starting having brilliant ideas because of this one little trick? What if you start feeling like you're unstoppable? People would pay huge money for a drug that makes them feel this way, and you can feel this way anytime you like for free.
Now then, one more thing before you start your day – I want you to picture yourself as being productive. HUGELY productive. See yourself having a fantastic time getting everything on your list done. Feel how happy it makes you. Feel your confidence soar from these accomplishments. Really experience what it will be like in a few hours when you've done everything you set out to do and maybe even more. Experience it from the top of your head all the way to the tips of your toes.
When you've got this picture of you being wonderfully productive today, go for a quick walk outside. Just do it. Get out, breathe the air, get some exercise. If you're in good shape, go for a short run. Get the blood flowing. Continue with the above exercises (smiling, standing erect, thinking of past accomplishments, seeing yourself accomplishing everything on your list with ease, etc.)
Come back, grab your glass of water, juice, coffee or whatever and look at your list of items to do. Pick out the most important one, the one that's got to be done first, and decide in advance how long it will take. If you don't do this in advance, then you'll probably spend the whole day on this one thing. So allow a certain amount of time and no more, and then get started.
You already know these are not new ideas I'm telling you, but for most people these are things they're not doing. They think, “Sure, I believe those are helpful, but I don't have time.” It's always the same excuse. But the reason they don't have time is because they're always running around trying to put out the fires they caused by not being productive in the first place. And then they get tired from putting out fires and what do they want to do? Sit in front of the TV.
And so we come full circle. Abraham Lincoln said if he had 6 hours to cut down a tree, he'd spend the first 4 sharpening the ax. Why do you suppose he said that? Because cutting down that tree is going to be a breeze if his ax is razor sharp, and it's going to be miserable work if it isn't.
What's the date 30 days from now? Write it down. If you could accomplish anything by that date, what would it be? Write it down. Now how are you going to accomplish that in 30 days? First, by eliminating all the stuff that's wasting you, your mind and your time. Second, by getting your mindset right. Third, by seeing yourself successful. Four, by getting busy.
Can you accomplish that thing you wrote down in just 30 days? I don't know. But I do know you can get a heck of a lot closer to it if you just do these simple things I've suggested.
Sharpen your ax. Clean up your act. You are the CEO of your own company and of your own life. You are in charge. Now start acting like it.