It’s a shiny fresh new year. Your day planner is clean, and smells like new paper, no dog ears or spilled smoothies covering the pages, yet.. . Your office is organised, your white board is polished, your pens and inky and you’re ready for a fresh start. Nice.
But.. you check the calendar one day and realise that the year is well underway and you’re yet to achieve anything tangible in your business. Cue the feelings of overwhelm, panic, frustration and all that other junk you had committed to leaving behind last year.
If, right now, you feel like I am talking just to you, don’t worry… You’re in good company. They’re are many women who had grand plans for a more focused, productive start to the year, but momentum hasn’t quite kicked in yet.
Let me give you 5 quick things you can do right now to create momentum so you can pick up some speed and sail through the first quarter of the new year.
set short term measurable goals
Measurable goals are ones that you can track progress towards and know definitively when you have reached them. A goal like “being more productive” doesn’t really mean anything, it’s not trackable, tangible or material. A goal like “30 minutes of writing every week day” or “zero in box by the end of this week” is measurable.
There was a research project done by Terasa Amabile and Steve Kramar to find out what makes people happy, motivated, creative and productive at work. They analysed over 12,000 daily diaries from 238 people to discover that simply making progress on meaningful work is what makes for happy, creative and productive people.
If you want to read more about the study check out The Progress Principle; Using small wins to ignite joy, engagement and creativity at work.
keep a daily journal
You have no doubt heard about the magical powers of keeping a daily journal, while I am not one for writing out all my feelings and emotions I do love to keep a list of wins each day. When I get lazy, or complacent and stop recording my wins I can feel my productivity and momentum sliding. It’s a small easy habit, and it costs nothing but a few minutes of your time each day and an old exercise book.
If you’re like me and journaling your innermost feelings doesn’t really sizzle your bacon, or you’re exhausted each night and just can’t be bothered then 3 quick wins will suit you perfectly.
get a kitchen timer
Another cheap, and very easy way to gain momentum is to grab yourself a kitchen timer. You can use your phone, or an online timer but I like my timer to be something I can take anywhere and it’s not connected to any flashy little distractions like notifications from social media, or your inbox.
Set your timer for 15 minutes and make a start on a task that you have been dreading doing, or putting off because you never find the time. If you’re finding the transition from holiday life a little sticky, or kids are still on school holidays you can use your kitchen timer to set boundaries for yourself and the kids.
One thing that has significantly changed my business is accountability. I am accountable to my Virtual Assistant, who is always waiting on something from me. Before having her I could easily move my deadlines. I could move them back years, and there was no one to pull judgey faces at me. Now, someone else is relying on me to hand over the goodies so she can do her job.
An accountability buddy doesn’t need to be someone you pay, it can be a friend in business, or a group of colleagues. I like the idea of investing some cash and hiring a coach to really whip your butt, or joining a group like Members Club where accountability checks in and progress updates are part of our weekly routine. The best bits about Members Club is you’re prompted each week by me, we have challenges running every month and you’re surrounded by other women just like you.
chunkin' your time
My last tip for you is to use chunks of time to work on one task or project. Instead of working for 2 hours, and changing tasks 10 times from checking email to posting on social media, to writing content, to cleaning shelves, to ordering stock like a mad person focus on chunks of dedicated time.
I swear multitasking was a concept dreamed up by a dude trying guilt the women in around him into doing more than they should have been expected to do. It’s unproductive, and inefficient and most definitely a habit to be left behind in the trash bin of last year.
If you don’t believe me, check out the American Psychological Association; studies showed the brain slows down while you shift attention from one task to another. It can suck up as much as 40% more time when you multitask. So no to multitasking, and yes to getting chunky with your time.
If you really want to up your business game this year; don’t forget to download your Profit Lovers Plan and Track, you will find it at www.theprofitlovers.com/planandtrack. With the Plan and Track you can map out your annual goals, set your sales targets, track your cash flow, plan your marketing and much, much, more.