If you have finally come to the place of admitting you have problems with self-discipline and you’re determined to finally overcome this, celebrate this step. It’s a clear indicator that you have reached a significant milestone.
1.Avoid the Perfectionist Trap
You finally finish that project, but when you start proofing it or testing it, you think of one more way it can be improved. Then you think of another. Then you research another. Before you know it, you’ve practically rewritten or redesigned the beast and you’re scrambling to meet deadlines (your own, or client-driven ones.)
Learn step back and say “STOP! This is done” by deciding in advance to do so. (It’s easier than you think.)
2.Don’t Punish Yourself for Success
If you finish a project early, resist the urge to immediately fill it with another one. That’s like punishing yourself for being super-efficient and leads to stress and burnout – no matter how keen you are on your business.
Instead, reward yourself with a well-earned dose of self-care. Read a book. Watch a movie. Sit in the garden for the afternoon. Go see your horse. Get your hair done.
3.Learn to Switch Off
It’s a proven fact that the most burned-out people are those whose mind is always on their business. That’s a paradox for most entrepreneurs, but talk to any top, seven-figure entrepreneur and you’ll find that ninety-nine per cent of this elite category have no trouble shutting the office door at a certain point every day.
And running on empty won’t make you more efficient. It will just undermine the quality of your work and increase stress.
4 Don’t Schedule Every Last Minute
Many entrepreneurs plan just enough time to complete a project before starting the next one. This is planning for perfection, also known as ‘planning for stress’. What happens in Real Life is that something always comes up. You get a call from the school to come pick up your sick child. You’re knocked out by a migraine. Even minor distractions, such as your dog having an accident on the carpet or a phone call you weren’t expecting can throw off your perfect, to-the-minute schedule.
Plus. if you’re seeing clients, you know the importance of decompressing even just for ten minutes to properly prepare you for the next client – but in addition to time for making notes, be sure to build in time for going to the washroom or getting a fresh glass of water or just getting out of your seat and stretching.
5.Remember the 80/20 Rule
If you’re not familiar with it, this is commonly known as the Pareto Principle: Namely, that business people spend eighty per cent of their time on trivial tasks and twenty per cent on truly vital ones.
Keep the truly vital ones, and discard, delegate, automate or outsource the rest. Getting into the habit of doing this will revitalize your business and your life.
6.Watch Out for Downtime Anxiety
The sad fact about entrepreneurs is that the more we do, the more we feel compelled to do. We start to feel anxious or guilty if we find ourselves with downtime … so we fill it in.
Stop. That’s just another way of punishing yourself for success.
7.Procrastinator is an Indicator, Not a Sin
If you find yourself always procrastinating before starting a specific task or activity, treat it as a friend. Don’t beat yourself up with a bunch of ‘should’ self-reproaches. Procrastination is a clue that something isn’t working for you. Either it needs to be dropped, delegated, automated or outsourced, or you are feeling intimidated and need to give yourself a pep talk and Just Do It.
In either case, take the time to identify what’s causing you to procrastinate, and you’ll be able to apply the right solution without shame or blame … or further procrastination.
8.If Something Isn’t Working, Check the Time of Day
Here’s a common scenario. The experts tell you to get your most hated task over with first thing in the morning. The result? You end up procrastinating on Facebook.
If this consistently happens to you, try throwing that rule out, and doing the task at a different time of day. (Maybe you need to get one successful task over with, before tackling the dreary one, as a confidence boost.)
Take the time to find the right time of day to tackle the joy killers … or outsource them!
9.Don’t Schedule Your Most Hated Task for the End of the Day
If you’ve ever done this, you probably already know what happens. That’s right: You end up putting it off for “first thing in the morning”. Then, the next day, it’s hanging over your head all day, because that day’s tasks eat up all your time and, having put it off once, it’s easier to put it off again.
Also, if you habitually put off your most hated task for the end of the day, consider that you might be addicted to the guilty pleasure of assigning it to “first thing in the morning”. (This can feel like a real luxury, if you’ve completed everything else.)
Simply rescheduling it to another point in your day should put a stop to that self-destructive tendency.
10.Try the Kick-Start Method
You tell yourself that you do your best work if you sit down and get to it without eating first in the morning: However, realize that you’ll pay for the burst of emotional energy this gives you, later in the day.
Avoid the crash by using it as a kick-start method; not as a way of life. Set your timer for no more than an hour (twenty-five minutes is ideal), start your task or activity; then when the timer goes off, go eat breakfast. Away from your desk.
Do this for a week, and you’ll probably find you get the best of both worlds: That morale boost in the morning plus sustained energy over the day.