How I fell off the wagon…

How I fell off the wagon…

The Super Productivity wagon that is!

Right now I’m in the middle of a 6 week Super Productivity challenge that I set for myself. The idea being, to see if I can still maintain my business growth whilst working less hours over a 6 week period.

So, as well as still having my existing client coaching sessions to deliver, could I also still keep my marketing pipeline flowing and avoid landing in 6 weeks time and wondering where my next clients are coming from and how to fill my workshops and group programmes?

It was going really well. To the point where I was wondering what the heck I was doing with my time beforehand.

And then I hit last week – week 4 of my challenge. It started off okay, and then I lost it.

My coaching friends would call it ‘self-sabotage’ or ‘an upper limit problem’.

Maybe. But really I just slacked off. I was feeling like I was doing so well, so what if I slacked off a bit? I deserved a little slack, didn’t I?

So what was going on?

Here’s some highlights of what happened to me, in case you find yourself doing some of this too.

  • I let personal tasks sneak into business time – it was my youngest’s 4th birthday and I needed to pick up a birthday cake for her party. After a client meeting on the morning, I thought I’d pop into the shop on my way back to the office to get one. 2 hours and 3 supermarkets later I was heading back! 2 hours down the drain I could normally absorb, but not last week. That was 2 hours I should have been spending writing my priority invitations to my next group programme.

Lesson learnt – Keep personal tasks separate from your business hours, and use deadlines to ensure you don’t spend too long on a job. Let’s face it, I could have got a cake in 30 minutes easily if I’d been more focused and not dawdled round the supermarkets browsing at everything I could!

  • I got distracted – a client rescheduled their meeting with me, and rather than using this time wisely, I saw it as a ‘bonus’ to be spent on whatever I wanted. So what did I do? I spent over an hour surfing through Facebook. Yep, that’s an hour I’m getting no return from. I’m not even going to try and pretend to you that it was business related. Pure distraction!

Lesson learnt – if you find yourself with more time than you planned for on a day, use it wisely to get ahead on something. I still had to spend an hour with that client on a different day, so really there was no ‘extra’ time at all.

  • I faffed about with something I shouldn’t have done – there is nothing guaranteed to get me more frustrated and tearing my hair out than techy issues. So why do I let myself get drawn into them?? Last week I realised that since my email provider migrated to their own service after piggy-backing on Yahoo (BT Mail if you’re interested), all of my emails sent from there have been sent from my personal email address rather than my business one. Arghhh! I hate this stuff. It was all set up fine and then they go and change it and I don’t know how to change it back. So, instead of doing my planned marketing activity, I got sucked into trying to figure out how to fix this. And guess what? As of writing this I still haven’t sorted it and I’ve probably spent 2-3 hours on this.

Lesson learnt – know your weaknesses and get help with them. I should have passed this over to someone else to do and paid them for it. But once I’d started, I reckoned I could do it, and it would take too long too explain everything to someone else, and I may as well just do it myself. Ooops! This is exactly what I teach my clients not to do. Any clients reading this can feel free to throw this one back at me ūüėČ

  • I struggled to keep my focus – I was having a bad week last week. You know, some weeks it just seems harder to keep your focus than others. So I was taking advantage of any distraction thrown at me in order to waste time. I had a big piece of marketing to work on and I just procrastinated on it. Most of the time I can get away with a little loss of focus, but not in the middle of a Super Productivity challenge!

Lesson learnt – know that sometimes you will lose your focus, and have a plan to get it back on track. Here’s what works for me: take small breaks (15 minutes) and do something small that is still moving you forward. For me, this may be something like de-cluttering my office or my inbox. Stuff that needs doing but doesn’t require any brainpower!

I’m sharing these with you in the hope you can learn something from these lessons that I’ve learnt this past week, and avoid making the same mistakes that I have.

Do you have your own ‘go-to’ bad habits? Leave me a comment to let me know.

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Alison Bradford

Alison Bradford is a business coach who works with smart, ambitious business owners to get clarity about how they can grow their business and increase profit. Sign up here to learn 6 easy ways you can boost profit in your business today.
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