New Year’s Resolution Number One

Posted on Jan 11, 2012

Remember how busy last year was and how you never seemed to have time for yourself? So what’s this year going to be like – more of the same?

If you want to improve the way you manage your life and business, then this New Year provides an opportunity to start fresh. Make it your number one priority and it could be the best thing you do for yourself and your family.

Here’s some suggestions to get you started:

1.  Never rush business decision making. It should be made with a cool head and you should take whatever time you need to do this or you will regret it later. There’s nothing that can’t wait a day or two and urgency is often created by other people rather than the event itself.

2.  Stop responding automatically to your phone and computer. If you don’t think that you do this, simply watch yourself next time your phone goes off, I guarantee that you’ll leap towards it before you know what you’re doing. Remember that these are tools in your business not your boss!

3.  Give everything your full attention. It doesn’t matter whether you work systematically or multi task, just make sure when you’re doing something you focus on it. And remember how important this is with your family – spending ten minutes concentrating fully on them is worth an hour when you’re distracted.

4.  Give yourself short breaks. I know you don’t want to miss any new opportunities and you have lots to do, but just taking a couple of minutes to turn off the phone and/or remove yourself from the office will make the world of difference to your stress levels. And if you think you don’t have time to do this then you really are stressed and need to do it! It’s a wonderful thing if you’re able to meditate or have other ways to really relax, but short breaks away from work can sometimes be more achievable for people who struggle to take time out.

5.  Book in your holidays now. Once you start the year you’ll start negotiating with yourself about why you can’t take holidays at certain times. As a business owner there’s never a good time to take holidays, but do it anyway. There’s only so long you can keep going at top speed and remember that without you there is no business!

6.  Find a way to deal with your email. You’re probably spending way too much time on it and double-handling the same emails. Set up folders, unsubscribe from any newsletters you don’t read, delete/deal with things as they come in or have some other system for keeping email under control. And if you’re struggling with deleting information only emails, ask yourself, “If I didn’t know this information what would be the consequences and could I find it elsewhere if I needed it?” Remember that you’re not expected to know everything and the internet is a great tool for finding out what you need to know, when you need to know it.

7.  Look at where you spend your time. Is it doing the things you love or is it just managing systems or paperwork? Although it’s impossible to eliminate all of this in your business, make sure you investigate streamlining it. If you’re too subjective yourself to edit your paperwork and processes then ask a trusted adviser.

8.  Spend time where it counts in your business. Make sure that every activity in your business leads to income for your business. You can find more tips on this in my blog entry, “Follow the Money”.

9.  Start noticing what stresses you out. For example, when does your heart start racing, when do you start getting agitated, angry or frustrated? Ask yourself what’s stressing you about the situation and then either remove yourself from it or find a new way to deal with it. We sometimes develop conditioned responses due to past experiences, but we can also change this, once we know what’s going on.

10.  Learn to say no and take time for yourself. We’re not superhuman and we shouldn’t feel guiity for taking time for ourselves. Rediscover what you enjoy about life and do it. Life is about enjoying our lives and not about spending more time than we need to, on things we don’t love.

It’s a fact that when you’re focused and relaxed you achieve more with less effort – I see this all the time with my clients.

Whatever you need to do this year to adopt a more relaxed way of living – do it and if you need help don’t hesitate to ask.