One of the most prevalent issues executives and entrepreneurs face today is a feeling of being overwhelmed, over-scheduled and overburdened. What I see continually is that the absence of down time or white space in their calendar leaves them running from meeting to meeting and feeling pressured to make decisions quickly and oftentimes with insufficient information. The underlying belief is that they must do more, with less, do it better and still delight the customer. This leaves the majority of people feeling drained, marginalized and seeing work as a long slow slog through enemy territory on their bellies with bullets flying over their head.
There is an opportunity if this is your situation. The opportunity is that there is a replicatable process for not only making progress amidst the chaos that is your everyday work life, but for making decisions faster and more reliably regarding business success. There is a challenge also. The challenge is that the mindset most executives and entrepreneurs have restricts them from believing anything they do will positively address the situation. You can read more about this mindset in my Mastering Your Mindset Special Report.
If you want to experience greater enthusiasm for your work, to create higher levels of employee engagement, and drive increased execution on strategic initiatives, the following best practices are used by my most successful clients and will work for you also.
#1. Make a different choice
The first and most important best practice is to recognize that you have a choice as to whether you maintain your current state of affairs or do something different. You cannot control the situation presented to you each day nor can you control the exigencies of your day, but you most certainly have control over how you respond to them. You know this but need reminding that you have a choice.
Choose to break any patterns that no longer serve you well and actively choose to create your ideal day and life. You may find yourself saying the same thing that one of my recent Mastering Your Mindset Intensive graduates, Phil Hoffman, said. He said, “When Hugh asked me to define My Ideal Day, I thought “I can do that, but I doubt I can live it.” Phil was committed though and made a different choice. You can too.
#2. Start small
Getting back in shape is not done overnight. When I was twenty years old I broke my leg and for twelve weeks was on crutches with a cast up to my groin. I gained twenty pounds (I was depressed and ate more potato chips and dip than I care to admit), sat on the couch and felt sorry for myself. When the cast came off my leg muscles were atrophied and I couldn’t run from one end of our driveway to the other without getting winded. Yes, we had a long driveway.
I learned at an early age that setting small goals of running the driveway once was a great goal, and that running ten yards farther the next day was a great small success. In our busy lives the vast majority of us are impatient for faster progress, but learning to see small progress accomplished daily, works wonders.
#3. Have a success list
Success lists are game changers. When you keep a list of your successes or accomplishments daily, over time you will see your success and progress in black and white. Success lists allow you to stand back at the end of your week and see clearly where and how you’ve been successful.
Each day before you leave your office write down 3 – 5 ways you were successful and keep track for four weeks. This will be a game changer in your perspective.
#4. Focus on progress not perfection. There is only one area of my life where I have reached a state of perfection and that is being dissatisfied with my current level of perfection. I was raised in a family that “good enough” was not good enough. I could always and should always do more. That’s a rough way to live your life.
Today I work at being content with daily progress and am significantly better at doing so, but am still a work in progress in this regard. But, I’m making progress.
#5. Hire a coach
Without a doubt having a coach or mentor has made the biggest difference in my life. My coach is Alan Weiss. Alan is by far the best coach for consultants like myself and has helped me not only grow my business, but also live my personal and professional life more boldly, abundantly and more generously. Without Alan my new book would likely not be released in June. Coaches help you grow faster and more reliably than we can on our own.
100% of you that choose not to implement one or two or three of my best practices will remain frustrated, employee engagement will falter, performance will decrease, and you’ll never achieve your or your teams full potential.
50% of you will read this and agree with it conceptually and do nothing with it. Not because you’re lazy, dumb, or disinterested, but because you’ll likely be hit with a mission critical issue and will veer off course and forget to come back to it.
25% of you will start one of the best practices and do it for one to two weeks and then stop. You won’t see the immediate results and see the best practices as ineffective and neglect to consider your implementation.
15% of you will get results quickly and conclude after two to three weeks that your bad habits and negative thoughts have been addressed successfully. You’ll think you’ve got things conquered and over the next four to six weeks you’ll regress back to the mean of your prior behavior. Your success will be short lived.
10% of you will commit to making a choice to cultivate one or two of the best practices and make them new habits. You’ll choose differently, set a plan and work your plan, you’ll track your progress and have a coach or mentor help you grow faster and more reliably. For this cohort of people they will do great work, live an abundant life and convert work from a four-letter word into the highest expression of what work and life can be.
Which group are you in? If you want to be in the top 10% and would like my help getting there, drop me an email at email@example.com and we’ll discuss how I can help you create greater success faster more reliably and with a whole heck of a lot more fun.