“Only The Disciplined Are FREE”
Not sure who said this, but it’s genius
and pretty critical this time of year
Here’s How to Stay On Track
Amidst The Holiday Cheer
‘Tis the season for taking off early, shopping til you drop (even if it is online), and generally over-filling your todo list. God help us all, lol. But there is a way to get around that crazytown feeling that’s so common this time a year …
You know that feeling …
That there aren’t enough hours in the day.
That you’ll never get it all done.
That you’re dropping balls. Important ones.
I get it. We all go through that, especially as business owners (and especially if you’re a business owner who does not have an assistant).
ESPECIALLY during the holidays.
But, while I’m the last person in the world who would dare to lecture you on time management …
I’ve figured out a thing or two about how to be SUPER productive when I need to be in a short amount of time, so that I can be free when I need to be.
Quick story …
First, before I ever became a business owner or a parent, when I worked at Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle as the Director of Marketing, I learned to “jam” like you wouldn’t believe to get my work done.
Bill Glazer put this crazy L-O-N-G todo list on my shoulders plate to execute the marketing for the company (you know, to like keep making money and stuff).
It was a lot of responsibility.
I’m so grateful for that experience for many reasons. I got a Master’s Degree worth of marketing education during that time, but I also learned how to rock that todo list like a champ and show up at my weekly meeting with Bill with most of it done.
More recently, as a business owner and mom I’ve had to call upon those skills to once again execute on my own crazy todo list (you know, to like keep making money and stuff) in LESS time.
Now, instead of this being about being awesome at my GKIC job, this is about handling the tornado that is my 6 year old when she gets off the school bus at 3:20.
I’m still in the middle of my workday, yet she wants 100% of me.
So, discipline is the ONLY chance I have for being present.
If you’re a parent you know exactly what I mean. These days go by so quickly and they’re only little for a while. It’s now or never, right?
But even if you’re not a parent, I’m sure you still get it.
Life is short.
You don’t want to miss it by having your todo list fog up your brain when you’re supposed to be relaxing or playing or enjoying your family or friends.
Most of us started our own businesses in the first place for the freedom it would give us. Now we know …
only the disciplined are free!
Anywho, as we’re now late into November and Christmas is just weeks away (and then there’s New Year’s and Super Bowl (and my birthday) and Valentine’s Day and so on). Life gets crazy and fun this time of year and there are more parties and goof off opportunities than you can shake a stick at.
These are things that we not only want to participate in, but we oftentimes feel real pressure to seize the moment and show up for.
So without further ado, here’s how I do it.
Again, remember, I’m no expert but if I can survive Bill Glazer and I can survive my daughter Georgia, I might just be a productivity genius.
STEP 1: Set Yourself Up for Success
That means sleep and eat for the energy and brain you want.
Yes you should have that cocktail and eat that cake. Seriously, go for it. But maybe not 5 cocktails and maybe not 3 pieces of cake. You are too old not to pay dearly for that level of indulgence. So, have the maturity and discipline to stop when you should. You’ve got a business to run after all.
Along those same lines, this also means …
Don’t skip lunch
Just take care of your body. It’s connected to your brain and you sort of need that thing to be sharp as a tack if you’re going to get where you want to go.
STEP 2: Move The Needle Every Day
That means sell something, market a service or product, or work to close a deal EVERY DAY.
You may have other goals, but we’re in this for food on the table and also for the real freedom that we can achieve financially.
So do something to SELL every single day you’re in business.
If you stop and rest to catch up or goof off and don’t take some action to move that needle toward your financial goals … well, I promise it will take you a lot longer to get there or you won’t get there at all.
And, you will fall off the business wagon during the holidays. Do you want to fall off the wagon? Of course you don’t.
It happens to all of that we want to mentally check out and just play. I get it.
But do yourself the favor of insisting that you MOVE THE NEEDLE EVERY DAY.
Go sell something before you play.
STEP 3: Set Yourself Up For Celebration
Setting yourself up for success is really about holding yourself accountable to step 2.
We all should be keeping a “MUST DO” list every day.
This is a concept I learned from my whizbang business partner Alyson Lex. The “MUST DO” list is essentially a VERY SHORT list of items that must be done today.
Put no more than 3 things on that list and knock them out first before you do anything else.
This is not asking a lot. Some of these things might only take a few minutes. If you need to create new marketing and you’re looking at a blank page and not sure where to start, so you move on and do something else … well, you don’t get new business.
So, start with your notes, consult with someone, delegate, hire an expert, and make some kind of measurable progress on this TODAY.
Figure out what it takes for you to accomplish your “MUST DO” items and refer to step 2. Move the dang needle.
Do it without fail.
This part is critical.
Be disciplined enough to at least accomplish your “MUST DO” list and you’ll find that what happens is that your productivity will stretch far beyond your “MUST DO” list.
Try it. You’ll see.
It will pay off with keeping you present when you really want to be present and allow you the freedom that you were looking for in the first place when you started your business.
Plus, guilt is the last thing you want to feel this time of year.
You deserve this freedom.
Be disciplined enough to earn it.