Eliminate Distractions and Crush Your Business Goals This Year
Being in complete control of our schedules is the best and worst feature of being an entrepreneur. When I started my first business, a huge draw for me was the ability to decide when I worked and when I didn't work. I craved more time freedom to be available to my two young sons.
But what I didn't expect was how easily I would be distracted. I have learned a few tricks along the way to eliminate distractions so I can crush my business goals.
Let's get the most out of your work hours so you can get all the important things done, push the unimportant things to the side and crush your business goals this year.
You are probably feeling a bit overwhelmed at this point by #allthethings that have taken over your todo list. You might be even scratching your head, wondering what you were thinking to create such massive goals for these next 12 months that lay ahead of you.
New Year energy is quite intoxicating and can leave you feeling exhilarated. It's fueled by the excitement of the clean slate of a brand new 12 months we see laying before us in the calendar. Although it's exciting and quite rejuvenating, it quickly dies away and turns more to overwhelm and frustration.
This is why January sees a huge increase in sales on fitness equipment, gym memberships, and diet programs. Unfortunately by January 15th, 95% of people will have given up on their freshly set goals.
This also is why it's crucial that we are setting goals that truly do matter to us. Goals that are centered around our core values and our purpose for being here. I will leave the link to my free interactive eBook that's here to help you create goals that matter to you at the end of this post.
This post is designed to help you turn that intoxicating excitement of the new year into consistent actions with a plan to maximize your results this year. What you are craving is results. And that is what we are going to get you.
DON'T FORGET THE FIRST STEPS
Nothing will make you feel more confident and more energized than chipping away at your goals, one step at a time. The feelings of overwhelm that we experience can almost always be tracked back to not having broken down our goals into smaller tasks that are manageable.
Make sure you have written goals that matter to you for the new year. That is your first step in ensuring that you achieve what you are after.
This feeling of excitement and rise in energy doesn't just happen in the new year. It also shows up at the beginning of a new season, such as spring and summer. But it's definitely at its highest when ringing in the new year.
You probably have a thousand ideas and thoughts tumbling around in your head right now if you haven't made a point to get them all down on paper. There is a sense of relief when we free our thoughts from our head and write them down where we can come back to them later.
Take a few minutes to write down a running list of every single thing you can think of that you want to get accomplished this year. Focus on the three or four goals that you set for this new year. Get everything you can think of out of your head and onto this "brain dump".
Once you have everything "dumped out" of your head and onto the paper, now it's time to organize it just a bit. Find a place in your planner, your journal, or somewhere where you can easily reference it and begin organizing your brain dump into categories, focusing on the goals that you set as each category.
With this list in hand, you might be panicking a little and wondering "how will I get this all done?"
As I mentioned earlier, we get this same type of energy and excitement rising up in us at the beginning of each new season. It's definitely highest in the new year but we can expect it to show back up again in just a few months. I like to capitalize on that by using the 3/3/3 rule.
- First: Ask yourself what you need to do in the next three months to get closer to accomplishing your goals. Make a list.
- Second: What do you need to do in the next three weeks?
- Finally: What can you do in the next three days to take actions towards these goals?
Notice how this takes the overwhelming goal and breaks it down into smaller, more manageable pieces. Not only will you know what to do each day, but you will see progress along the way which will boost your confidence even more.
CREATE NEW HABITS
Whether you run your business from your home or from another location, you are still in complete control of your schedule if you are your own boss.
This was the biggest adjustment for me when I left my teaching position seven years ago to start my own business. I craved the time freedom that being my own boss would provide but little did I know that I would have to learn how to set boundaries and dig deep for a new level of will power. I had to learn to say no to myself and to other people.
Take advantage of your new commitment to your business and to the goals that you have worked so hard to set and create new habits that will set you up for success for the long term.
The internet is probably the worst time waster of all. Even though we grow our businesses through using the internet, it can pull us into places that aren't growing our businesses at all. Especially if we are distracted and find ourselves mindlessly checking Facebook and Instagram every few minutes.
Avoid incoming emails, messages and phone calls during your PowerBlocks. (see my schedule below) Now that you own your own business and manage your own time, you may have to set some boundaries. Your friends and family will only treat you as you teach them to. If they send you a message in the middle of the day and you answer right away, you are simply teaching them that you are available at that time. Therefore, they can freely reach you anytime they want.
Your work day will get quickly eaten up by chatting back and forth with your friends and family if you do not create these necessary boundaries. You wouldn't take every phone call or respond to Facebook messages if your boss was standing behind you would you?
CREATE A ROUTINE THAT WORKS FOR YOU
This is always the hardest part of the game for me. The schedule. Finding a routine that fits not only my family and my life but also my personality and attention span has been a challenge since I started my first business.
If you are lacking confidence in your business or feeling completely overwhelmed, take a look at your work schedule. I can almost guarantee that your work time is sporadic and you might even feel as if you are working all the time but getting very little accomplished. That can almost always be tracked back to a lack of a consistent work time and non work time.
The main reason that I became an entrepreneur all those years ago was simply to be able to be more involved in my kids' lives. It has evolved into way more than that but at the beginning it was simple; to be able to more of a mom to my two boys.
With that being said, protecting my family time is my top priority. If I don't set this boundary when creating my schedule I can find myself working all the time or simply wasting time clicking around on the internet.
This is the schedule that is working best for me right now. I am not perfect and some days I need to switch it all up because I'm feeling antsy or bored with the routine. On those days, I gather up all of my things and head to a local coffee shop. But I still do the work. The work is the key!
Four out of the five days of the week look almost exactly the same so I am going to share with you that schedule. Since I co-host a weekly podcast, Story Cast, one day a week I record interviews and spend my time marketing the podcast.
4:15-6:15 Wake up, get dressed and either workout or have my extended quiet time, depending on the day of the week.
6:15-8:00 Arrive back home and get my boys up and going for school. This is when I drink coffee, eat breakfast, chat with my husband and boys, and drive them to school.
8:00-9:00 Shower and get ready for the day. I have found that if I don't schedule this time in I will just take a quick shower each day and never actually "get ready"; as in makeup and hair styled or dressed in anything but yoga pants. Don't get me wrong. I love the freedom to work in my yoga pants in my home office each day. But I have found that when I get "dressed" for work I am more confident. I also like to be ready for the times I want to go LIVE on Facebook or record a training video.
9:00 - 10:30 PowerBlock. This is my most productive time of the day. I'm my freshest and most creative in the morning. This is when I am creating content, writing blog posts and creating courses and trainings for my clients.
The most important thing to note during PowerBlocks is that this a no distraction time. I turn my phone to vibrate and exit out of all email and Facebook. My objective is to be focused on the task at hand and to let as few distractions in as possible.
10:30-11:15 Break/lunch. I take this time to recharge and eat a healthy lunch. I might read a little bit of a book or check my Facebook and email during this time.
11:15-12:30 PowerBlock. Here is where I either finish up a project from my first power block or I start something new.
12:30-1:00 Break. This is when I usually take my dog for a walk and get outside to stretch my legs and clear my mind a little.
1:00-2:30 PowerBlock. This is my last power block for the day. I finish up any projects that didn't get completed earlier or I move on to something new. I focus on completion in this block so that I'm able to start the next day fresh. It isn't always possible but I try my best.
2:30-7:00 Pick my boys up from school, sports practices, and make dinner. This is the most inconsistent time of day for me. Some days my oldest son has practice and some days he doesn't. I usually try to plan something to do during the gap between picking up my youngest son from school and then picking up my oldest from practice. Grocery shopping, running errands, etc.
If I find myself stuck in the car waiting for my son during this time, I will answer emails and Facebook messages and use this time to connect with friends. But sometimes, I totally just need to chill and read a book!
7:00-7:30 During this time I will check my emails, answer any messages that didn't get answered during the day or while I was sitting in car rider line and map out my plan for the next work day.
7:30-9:00 Downtime with the family and bed. Almost every night I read in bed for about 30 minutes before I fall asleep. Reading helps me unwind for the night.
Be kind with yourself when it comes to your work schedule. Show yourself grace when you don't stick with your routine. But be mindful that the more consistent you are, the more progress you will make in your business. Consistency is a key element!
WHERE TO START?
- Set goals that matter to you. (if you need help with this start here)
- Create an action plan for the next three months, three weeks and decide what you will do over the next three days to start chipping away at your goals.
- Change your habits. Decide today that you will not let distractions get in the way of your work time and keep you from your goals.
- Map out a working schedule for you and your family.
- Stick to that schedule long enough to create new habits.
This is your year to CRUSH your goals! Follow these steps along with me and let's make 2017 the year that we decided to make all our dreams come true!