Want to know what’s really holding you back from achieving your goals? Clutter.
I’m not talking about piles of paper on your desk or stacks of business cards you never got around to organizing—although that can be a problem, too. In this case, though, we’re talking about the clutter in your head. You know, that endless list of things that scrolls through your mind continually, and that distracts you just when you’re trying to focus.
That’s the kind of clutter that’s really holding you back, and we all have it. But the good news is, it’s easier to clean up than those piles of paper are. And the way we’re going to do it is with a brain dump.
Here’s how it works:
- Set aside 30 to 60 minutes of uninterrupted time. It’s important that you have a quiet place with no distractions—either internal or external—to derail the process, so plan a time when the kids are at school and you don’t have clients calling you.
- Grab your list-writing tool of choice. This can be digital or physical, so whether you prefer Evernote, a Moleskine notebook, or a stack of index cards, it’s entirely up to you. Make sure you have pencils and/or pens, too.
- Just write. Make a big list of everything that’s on your mind, from getting the dog groomed to building a new website. Whatever you’re keeping on that big to-do list in your head goes in your brain dump. No task is too big or too small, but don’t worry about the details yet. Rather than listing all the subjects you want to blog about, simply write “Create a blog editorial calendar.”
- Once you’ve got everything out of your head and down on paper, it’s time to bring some order to the chaos. Reorganize your list according to project Is the clutter in your head holding you back from achieving your goals you just when you are trying to focus? Take these 5 steps to clear the mind clutter. , then order your projects by priority, and finally order the tasks within your projects in their logical order. Fill in the blanks where necessary.
- Transfer to a trusted system. Your brain dump will do you no good at all if you still feel the need to keep stuff in your head, so this step is critical to your success. Whether your to-do lists are on paper or electronic, you must transfer your newly organized brain dump into a system you trust and use.
Finally, it’s time to get to work. And if you find yourself struggling again or not getting things done, that means it’s time to schedule another brain dump. Doing so regularly will help you continue to move forward toward your goals and get the work done.
When you have a job, your boss, coworkers and even your team rely on you to get things done in a timely manner. And when you don’t follow through, it affects them—and maybe your long-term employment options as well.
But when you work for yourself, there is no one to hold you accountable.
No one emails you and asks for that new book, or wants to know when you’re finally going to record that video, or questions why you haven’t posted to the blog in 17 weeks.
On the surface, that sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? After all, not having a boss is one of the big draws for self-employment. Here’s the problem though: When no one is depending on you getting your work done, procrastination and just plain lack of focus can quickly take over and bring your business to a screeching halt.
The answer? Simply find someone to whom you will have to answer for your actions.
You have several options here, from your spouse to automated systems such as stickk.com, but smart business owners have a secret weapon: a business coach.
When you think of a business coach, you probably immediately think of someone helping you solidify your branding or create a plan for launching your new product line. But a good coach is much more than an idea factory—she’ll also cheer you on in your successes and hold your feet to the fire when if you aren’t making progress.
And with a business coach, that accountability works better than with your spouse or accountability partner simply because you’re paying for her advice. Imagine how bad you’d feel to be paying a coach a few hundred dollars (or more) per month and not taking action on her advice. If you’re like most other business owners, that investment is a huge motivator!
One-on-one coaching isn’t the only way to go, either. You can also join a mastermind group and get some of the same benefits, including help with business development and accountability. Mastermind groups come in many different styles, including groups of friends and colleagues who bounce ideas off one another and costly paid plans that match you up with business owners who have similar goals and product offerings.
Both coaching and masterminding are proven techniques used by successful large and small business owners for years, and virtually every entrepreneur can benefit from one or the other—or both. But just like any tool, it only works if you use it well.
So before you enter into any coaching or mastermind agreement, be sure you:
- Have clear goals for what you want to accomplish—your coach can help you set goals in your first meeting.
- Work with those who have similar businesses or products—it would make little sense for a veterinarian to work with a mastermind partner who is an Amazon FBA seller.
- Avoid the trap of being too understanding—accountability means not giving people “a pass” just because they’ve had a bad week or got distracted.
One last tip: It’s okay to change coaches and mastermind groups from time to time. You’ll only grow as a business owner if you stretch, and you can’t do that if you work with the same coach for too long.
John C. Maxwell a leadership expert and bestselling author of over 70 books including the 21 Laws of Irrefutable Leadership has awarded Anna Banks his coveted Leadership Coach, Teacher and Speaker Certification, on August 10, 2015 during the JMT Live Certification Event, Orlando World Center Marriott Resort & Convention Center, Orlando, Florida.
For Banks and her clients, they know that the higher their leadership lid raises, the more they will achieve, the stronger their businesses will be and their families. Many think they are good leaders, yet all of us need to step out to learn how we can be better leaders in our families, communities, government and businesses.
Banks has coached executives, educators and business owners on raising their leadership lid and now has an even stronger foundation to build upon and improve the lives of leaders in the New York-New Jersey Metropolitan area. Read More→
Irvington Public Library launches its celebration of 100 years of service with Grow your Business with Publicity workshop for entrepreneurs and non-profits. Participants will leave the session with ideas you can use immediately without spending a fortune hiring an expensive P.R. firm.
Are you a business owner or non-profit organization in Irvington, NJ? Would you like some free publicity on the radio and local news outlets? Then register and attend the “Its Time to Learn to Brag: How to Use Press Releases and Publicity to Grow Your Company” seminar, presented by Anna D. Banks, author of DIY Publicity Planner. The half-day seminar will be held 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Saturday, March 21, 2015 at the Irvington Public Library, 5 Civic Square Irvington, NJ 07111
As a long time Irvington resident I am convinced that good things do and can continue, to come out of Irvington Township. However, organizations and business must learn how to get the word out in ways that will entice people to come and take advantage of the wealth of resources. Ray Horner Jr, Artist http://www.rayhorner.com Read More→