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Insights to getting things done #121 / What to do when you don't feel like setting goals

What to do when you don’t feel like setting goals

Have you ever had a period in your business where you didn’t have any goals?

You were just trying to figure out what worked and what didn’t and you’d set your goals when you had more information or data.

I know I have and I’ve seen some of my clients go through it.

It can come from having too many weeks or months of not meeting the goals you set for yourself. So, you’re not feeling a sense of completion and maybe even wondering if you’re cut out for running a business.

Feeling like that or going through those times does NOT mean that you’re not cut out for running a business.

What it does mean is that you might need to tweak a couple of things.

This can be:

  • Evaluating the things you’re doing and noticing what’s working, what’s not working, and what could be working better
  • Noticing the things that are on your do-later list that you actually want to be doing now
  • Noticing the things that you’re not doing because they’re outside your comfort zone
  • Setting a super doable goal for yourself this month so you can feel that very important and confidence-building sense of completion
  • Noticing any patterns around where you tend to stop moving forward
  • Looking at the goals or intentions that you’re not meeting and asking what information, skills, or connections do you need to more easily meet that goal

When you’re feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, or like things just aren’t working out for you give yourself some grace. Acknowledge what you’re feeling and get curious about what might be going on.

Having someone else to talk to through this can be super helpful.

If this is something that’s happening for you right now, reach out & let’s talk. The easiest way to do that is to leave a comment or fill out the Contact Me form here http://oneinsightcloser.com/contact-me


PRODUCTIVITY FOR SOLOPRENEURS: INSIGHTS TO GETTING THINGS DONE #121

Productivity for Solopreneurs: Insights to getting things done #120 / How do you prioritize the importance of doing in contrast to strategizing?

How do you prioritize the importance of doing in contrast to strategizing?

Someone recently asked me how I prioritize the importance of doing in contract to strategizing (or planning).

She said that she finds DOING is 10x’s better than having a perfect strategy.

But it can be a whole bunch of work in the wrong direction, which isn’t great either.

So what do you do?

I want to start by saying that there is no perfect strategy.

In our desire to have the impact and results that we want we can get caught up in doing things the “right” way.

And a lot of us can get so caught up in creating and executing that perfect strategy that we keep putting off the thing we’re actually trying to accomplish.

We plan and plan and plan and plan.

When we start the work, we want it to be done so very well, that the end date keeps getting pushed back and we don’t end up with the results or the impact that we wanted.

Basically, you can end up procrastinating something important through a desire to do it perfectly.

You might forget that it’s important to make progress, and not wait for perfection.

It’s a whole lot better to get something out there that’s imperfect, unfinished, or unnamed (as the case may be) than to wait for things to be *just* right or perfect.

And you also need to balance that with planning.

You don’t want the only thing you’re consistent about to be that you’re throwing undercooked spaghetti at the wall and wondering why NOTHING ever sticks.

Meaning, if you do that once, fine. Learn from it and maybe cook the spaghetti a bit more next time.

In other words, do it badly first, then look at what worked and what didn’t.

You have a start.

No one else is going to think you did it badly because they didn’t go into with the HUGE expectations that you did, they’re ONLY seeing what happened.

Let’s take it into more personal terms.

A week from today I’m hosting a 1/2 day workshop.

It’s the first time I’ve hosted a workshop in over 3 years and the content is completely different.

But it is material I’ve taught before, so I don’t have to completely write new content.

When I started planning it I thought I should host it in a hotel, have tables with white table cloths that hit the floor, have a microphone, maybe be recorded, and have the perfect powerpoint presentation (or slide deck).

And I thought that before I started marketing it I should have all the marketing planned out, the fliers created, the social media posts and images created, all emails written, and a list of everyone that I wanted to call and personally invite written.

And that FREAKED me out. Because it meant I needed about 2 1/2 months of lead time and for the timing with some other things I wanted to happen to work I needed the workshop to happen in about 6 weeks.

So, I reset my expectations.

What absolutely needed to be done now so that I could start sharing this workshop 3-4 weeks out from it happening?

What could I work on and figure out during that 3-4 weeks before the event?

And what expectations can I let go of this time around to have more time for some other more important things?

It was more important for me to get it out there for the first time and have some experience with it than to try to get everything perfect the first time.

Sometimes it’s about doing enough planning so you can start moving in the right direction.

Again, it’s about making progress and not waiting for perfection.


PRODUCTIVITY FOR SOLOPRENEURS: INSIGHTS TO GETTING THINGS DONE #120

Productivity for Solopreneurs: Insights to getting things done #119 / Annoying or motivational? "We all have the same 24 hours in a day."

Annoying or motivational? “We all have the same 24 hours in a day.”

Is there a quote that most everyone finds super uplifting or motivational, but it just does NOT do that for you? It might even annoy the heck out of you.

I’d love it if you left me a comment with the quote and why it bugs you.

“We all have the same 24 hours in a day. How are you spending yours?”

Or sometimes it’s written as: You have the same number of hours in the day as Einstein/Mother Teresa/Steve Jobs/Beyoncé/etc.

UGH.

Intellectually, I get that I’m supposed to hear that and think something like “YES! I can do anything I put my mind too!”

Instead, I’m transported back in time.

Back to when I was about a year in my business and heard this for the very first time.

I was overwhelmed, frustrated, and tired. My business was making negative money while I was doing A LOT of work.

I heard this quote and wanted to cry or scream.

All those other people had created success with their 24 hours, but I had put myself in debt, worn myself out, saw NO path out, and deeply felt whatever the opposite of success is.

I felt guilty that I hadn’t figured something fundamental out that they seemed to know and I compared everything I knew about myself to everything I knew about “successful people.”

And boy, oh boy, I judged myself harshly under that light.

Here’s the problem: I didn’t think about all the overwhelmed, frustrated, tired, self-doubt filled days that those “successful people” had.

I only saw their successes.

But I compared my worst days to their best.

And I couldn’t help but feel like someone ahead of me on the path said “catch this great tidbit of knowledge that I’m tossing to you” and I looked up just in time for a brick to hit me in the forehead and knock me to the ground.

Ouch!

Next time can I have a hug instead?

What would have been helpful, had I had the ears to hear it, was a gentle reminder that I was comparing the messy day-to-day that I felt I was slogging through to the perfectly lit and cropped picture that someone else was sharing.

Which reminds me of a couple of other quotes:

  • Don’t compare your inside to someone else’s outside.
  • Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.

Final thoughts:

  • If a motivational quote really bothers you, it’s okay. And it could be an indicator that you’re stressed or overwhelmed, which is valuable knowledge. Once you recognize it, you can do something about it.
  • If you share a motivational quote and the other person doesn’t hear it the way you do, don’t make them wrong about their interpretation. But do notice it and get curious. You might ask how they interpreted the quote and have a nice discussion about it. And they might leave feeling a bit better!

All this talk about my frustration with this quote has made me wonder if there’s a quote that you’ve beaten yourself up with in the past OR if there’s one that transports you back in time, in a positive or negative way.

I’d love it if you’d share it in the comments below.

PRODUCTIVITY FOR SOLOPRENEURS: INSIGHTS TO GETTING THINGS DONE #119

Productivity for Solopreneurs: Insights to getting things done #118 / Why you need to know the question behind the question

Why you need to know the question behind the question

One of the things I ask the members of the Unnamed Productivity Club each week is “what questions do you have?”

I encourage them to write down the questions they have even if they’re not for me or the group.

This is because before you can get the answers you’re looking for, you need to know the question you’re asking.

But sometimes we don’t go deep enough with our questions.

We think the question is: how do I get more clients?

You might do a search and find someone that’s offering something that promises you 10 new clients by the end of the month!

You sign up, or even invest in a program, only to realize that the program is all about the sales conversation and this doesn’t actually help you because you’re not getting people to a sales conversation.

Instead, the question might be: how do I have more sales conversations? Or: how do I meet more people?

Another example.

We think the question is: How do I find more time in my day?

But the question might really be: How do I stay focused on the things I want to do today and not get sidetracked?

What are the questions you have?

If you’re not sure, ask yourself what you need to know or learn for your business right now to reach your goals (or to reach your goals a bit faster).

Then, go a bit deeper and see if you can find the question behind that question.

PRODUCTIVITY FOR SOLOPRENEURS: INSIGHTS TO GETTING THINGS DONE #118

Productivity for Solopreneurs: Insights to getting things done #117 / How do you make sure the important stuff in your business gets done?

How do you make sure the important stuff in your business gets done?

Something that’s come up in a few conversations over the last couple of weeks is the question “How do I make sure the important stuff in my business gets done?”

And this question isn’t coming from new business owners. The ladies who are asking have run their profitable business for at least a couple years or so.

This generally leads to a discussion on time blocking.

It’s tempting to make this a BIG project in an attempt to do it right.

To sit down with all your to-do’s and goals and think about what categories things fall into and how you want to divide your time throughout the week into those categories.

This is a great strategy.

But it can cause you not to do anything because you don’t have the time to sit for two hours and go through the goal setting, brain dump, and time blocking process.

So you don’t do anything.

And you continue to be frustrated that the important things keep falling to the wayside.

Let’s take a different approach.

What are the smaller tweaks you can make that will move you closer to the goal of working on those important things?

Look at what’s not working and ask yourself what some things are you could do to have time for those things?

Can you block off time each day or week to do it?

You don’t have to create time blocks for EVERY category or thing you can think of.

Just create one time block for that particular project or goal.

Put it in your schedule and see how it goes.

At the end of the week take a moment to notice what worked, or didn’t work about that time block.

You might need to change it or do something a little differently.

I’ll share a personal example.

I end most days with checking email and social media and then planning the next day.

The problem was by the time I finished with my email and social media, I was spent and really ready to end the day. Which meant the next day didn’t get planned. And having my day planned before I walk into my office keeps me on track and on task.

Or I’d schedule meetings right up to the end of my day. And I wouldn’t have much time for any of it.

After I thought about it for a while I realized that if I gave myself an hour or two at the end of every day I could tie up loose ends from the day and do my email and social media check-ins.

So, I added a reoccurring appointment every day from 4-6 for “daily tasks,” those things that I want to do daily.

This is my time to make or return any phone calls I haven’t already done, tie up other loose ends, check my email, check-in on social media and plan the next day.

This helped, but I still wasn’t always planning the next day.

One more small tweak helped immensely: I planned the next day before I checked email or social media.

Does this mean that I’m always caught up on email and social media each day? Nope. Those things will still be there the next day.

But this works for me many, many more days then it lets me down. And the added benefit is I know that I have time built into my schedule so I spend less time the rest of the day trying to squeeze some of it in.

Quick recap:

  1. You don’t have to do ALL your time blocking at once. You can do it for one thing.
  2. If there is something you’re continuously running out of time for, create a time block for that thing. It might be two hours a week, one hour a day, or something else.
  3. Put that time block on your calendar every week/day so you don’t schedule other things at that time.
  4. Take a moment each week to review and notice what is and isn’t working for you with that time block.
  5. Adjust your time block as needed.

PRODUCTIVITY FOR SOLOPRENEURS: INSIGHTS TO GETTING THINGS DONE #117