Are there some habits you have that might be holding you back from maximising the time you have for your business and creating your vision of success sooner?
When most women start a business they are doing it so that they can create a work life that fits around a lifestyle they want, rather than the other way round.
Whether that lifestyle includes more time to spend travelling and having adventures; more time for the children, friends and family; more time volunteering and giving to charity or causes; less time glued to a desk and getting out and about doing things they love most.
Ultimately it’s to achieve freedom, flexibility and financial independence for more time to do the things they are passionate about.
But there are certain habits that new business owners fall foul of that can make things feel a lot harder and result in the progress to that freedom, flexibility and financial independence a lot slower.
Again, I can put my hand up and say I too was guilty of some of these when I started my first business. And I often see the same with many of my clients.
Many often forget as they transition to CEO of their own business to consciously review existing habits for those that are going to be of help in this new world and those that aren’t.
THE COMMON HABITS THAT COULD BE HOLDING YOU BACK…..
~ Defaulting to the only working week you’ve known!
The most common habit I’ve noticed is defaulting to the routine of 35/40 hours a week, 9am-5am ish, Monday to Friday and trying to fill all those hours as productively as they can. Even when this routine didn’t work for them before.
It’s interesting that with total freedom over hours when starting out in business so many go straight back to the only thing they know well, but it’s often this that causes many to feel stuck, unhappy and uncertain that they’ve done the right thing. This wasn’t what they were imagining!
The key to breaking this habit, and creating something more aligned to your vision, is choosing your ideal working week and defining how it will work. There will be a number of things to consider – the number of hours you really have to work on your business, what other commitments you have and when, maximising your energy and focus, the time you want off etc.
Another important aspect of this is being as productive as you can be in your new ideal working week. Maximising the hours to get the important work done, which leads me nicely to the second habit…..
~ Doing busywork before jobs that’ll have a more significant impact.
I mentioned this one last week when I was talking about decluttering your to-do list – https://alissiaknight.co.uk/declutter-your-to-do-list-and-get-more-done/
Busywork is things like:
– Reading and replying to emails where you gain/contribute little or nothing
– Working on low-value projects
– Making something perfect that only needs to be good
– Looking at what others in your industry are doing
– Undertaking another course or training (before you’ve implemented what you’ve learnt previously!)
It is so easy to hunker down into the work that involves little thinking or focus. It’s the path of least resistance and they are things that arguably need doing at some point. But if the time you have to spend on your business is limited (by other commitments or the fact that you’re wanting to create your ideal lifestyle that doesn’t revolve around working all the time) then you want to focus on tasks that have a bigger return on establishing your business; like marketing and outreach efforts and servicing existing customers or clients.
~ Doing the housework and/or errands before sitting down to your business.
This is so common for those who work from home because it’s so easy to see all the things that need doing around the house. The temptation is there….. “I’ll just quickly get that done before I start and then I won’t have to deal with it later”. And before you know it you’re on to the next thing and the next. It’s often a guilt thing about being at home and knowing jobs need doing. And women definitely experience this more than men!
If you’re falling into this trap you’re probably finding that by the time you finally start to think about your work, your energy and focus has already been depleted and you struggle with motivation and productivity.
I’m pretty sure that deciding to work for yourself was not to be able to get more housework done or to run around doing more errands. It’s most likely the exact opposite.
There are two parts to addressing this, the first being your mindset and the second is taking some action.
Firstly the mindset part….just because you’re working from home or don’t have leave to go to an office somewhere doesn’t mean you’re now more available to do more of these things! Your time is still just as precious. If you want to build your business and grow it you must give it the commitment and focus it deserves. You’re not now available to add more to your plate either. Your capacity has not got bigger. You still want to have most of your reserves for the things you ‘want’ to do not what you should do.
So the second part, if leaving these things just feels you with dread find ways of getting help to get them done. Ask members of the family to do a little more around. Pay for a cleaner, a dog walker, a gardener or whoever can help you take the burden from your shoulders. Order food shopping online. Look at whatever you can do to make your life easier and allow you to put more time towards your business.
It doesn’t have to be all your responsibility, especially not in this day and age!
~ Multi-tasking and believing you do it well.
There has been this strange trend for encouraging us to do more things all at the same time – this thing called multi-tasking. So many of us have bought into the idea that we should all be multi-taskers and get more done and be more productive. But recent research has found that multitasking not only decreases the quality of work being done, it also slows you down.
The brain is unable to focus on two or more things at the same time. Instead, it swaps between one and the other. But the brain finds it hard to let go of the last thing to focus on a new thing. The more complex the tasks are the longer it takes to recover from the switch – there is a lasting imprint that results in a lack of complete attention. And a lack of attention can lead to mistakes and problems, which can, in fact, increase workload and reduce productivity.
This gets even more complicated when you add in the fact that there are some many other things also competing for our attention – emails, smartphones and social media and so on.
And this is where the benefits of focusing on just ONE thing really does outweigh trying to do many. As much as it feels like it goes against the grain and it feels hard, it’s a really important habit change to make. For more reading on this, I highly recommend The One Thing by Gary Keller.
This is so true “We don’t need to do more, we need to do what matters most!” –
And lastly for this post….
~ Allowing clients and customers to dictate your working hours and availability.
Also known as pleasing others and could also include suppliers, audiences (i.e. social media) and others. It’s so easy, especially in the early days of business, to get wrapped up in wanting customers and clients and being seen that you make yourself available at all hours. And even when you know what your ideal hours are, it’s often so easy when someone asks if you can do this time or that (outside your desired hours) to say “yes”.
Being too flexible for people will lead to resentment and frustration and you wondering whether you’re doing the right thing by having your own business. I know, I certainly fell into this one big time in my early days.
But as soon as you can honour yourself and your boundaries the quicker you will begin the design the business that is working the way you want it to.
“You cannot please everyone and the effort required to try shaves years off of your life and steals your joy” ~ Gaynete Jones
I believe it’s so important to address these not so desirable habits early and to create new ones that support your progress and productivity that it is a fundamental part of my Kickstart Your Business programme! – https://alissiaknight.co.uk/business-startup-coaching/
Small tweaks here and there really will make a difference to how you experience your business and the success you have!
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AND here’s just a little reminder of what I do…
I work with female entrepreneurs and business owners who want to build their dream businesses!
I will help you get clear on what you need to do, how you’ll do it and keep you on track. You’ll give self-doubt the elbow, saying bye to overwhelm and hello to assertive action. Saving you time, effort and energy!
STRATEGY, ACTION & ACCOUNTABILITY = THE BUSINESS YOU LOVE WITH LESS HUSTLE! 💓
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