Most of us strive to be effective in our business, it’s a no-brainer right? But how effective are your business practices, really? In all honesty, if you are not successfully achieving your intended results, you simply aren’t being effective in your business.
So many entrepreneurs go on and on struggling, not realizing that their busyness is not only unproductive but ineffective because they are wasting time doing things that are meaningless, or low priority tasks in their business.
This was a big struggle for me for a long time. I assumed because I was making some money, what I was doing was effective – which was partially true. You see, I happen to suffer from a debilitating illness that quit a few entrepreneurs suffer from and it can sometimes negatively impact the way we operate on a daily basis.
One primary symptom of this sometimes severe condition is impairment of strength. Yes, it creates the inability to operate in our strengths thus causing us to become ineffective. Those who suffer from this limiting condition are normally classified as a: Perfectionist
Those of you who share this issue with me may feel that being a perfectionist is actually a good thing – I believed that for a long time. I took great pride in everything I did because it always came out perfect, just the way I envisioned it.
I would loathe at the mere thought of error or incompetence and presumed my “gift” of perfectionism was a powerful trait to have.
Don’t get me wrong, it does have it’s benefit for those in certain fields and anything in moderation is okay…right? But what about those of us who don’t realize the additional ailments perfectionists often develop when left untreated; such as procrastination in the inability to complete tasks. (oh don’t act like I’m the only one).
As a perfectionist myself, my first step was – yup, you guessed it – admitting I had a problem. I can’t tell you how many times I would sometimes spend in excess of 3 or more hours trying to make a banner just right or formatting the outline of a document (did you hear me…the OUTLINE) or trying to align certain text on my blog to the exact way I think it would look the best.
When I began to notice that I could spend an entire work day caught up in some of the most insignificant tasks, things that were a part of my business, yes…but were not activities that were producing me any income, I knew I had a problem.
Procrastination would set in when it would take me an entire day to craft a plan of action to the umpteenth degree, and then I would be to tired and mentally drained to actually START the original project…talk about NOT being effective in my business NOR as an entrepreneur.
If any of this resonates with you, I’ve got a few tips to share with you that helped me control my perfectionist tendencies and help me become more effective in my business.
Conquer your mindset – The first step to achieving this is to do what I mentioned earlier, acknowledge it is in fact, a problem. As Dr. Phil always says, “you can not change what you do not acknowledge.” Start to be mindful and aware of the less important tasks in your day that seem to demand your attention the most.
If you have a hard time distinguishing if it is something that is moving you closer to your goals and/or end results, ask yourself if it is an income producing activity. If it is not, affirm outloud, “this is not a priority in my business right now.” Get comfortable letting go of the idea that it is something that MUST be done right now.
Create new habits – What has helped me tremendously was to create a “To-Do” list each night for the next day, in order of priority. I keep my list short, with no more than 6 items and begin with the most important tasks. I no longer check email first thing in the morning (although I still skim through for important stuff…hey, I never said I was cured…lol) I do the things in my business that are most important and move me toward growth and increased income.
I also keep a daily schedule using my Gmail calender which I sync with my Blackberry and set it up so I get an alert when it is time for me to move on to the next thing on my calendar. (Allocating blocks of time to complete tasks helps a lot for perfectionists) If it doesn’t get completed today…it moves over to the tasks for the next day.
Adopt new behaviors – You may be wondering exactly when you are supposed to actually do those “not so important things” in your business. Well, a suggestion is to NOT do them during your regular business or work hours. You can spend a few hours in the evening our on weekends completing non-priority tasks. You can also delegate or outsource these tasks if you are in a position to do so.
As an entrepreneur, the way we conduct our business is in direct relation to our success or failure. We are small business owners, you are THE owner of your business so we have to learn to play our position and change our behaviors – in other words, get some self-discipline. I don’t think Oprah become who she is over night…do you?
If you want to achieve more in your business, you have got to be willing to do the things it will take to reach your goals. If you have to talk to yourself to get motivated, do it. If you need to partner with a coach or mentor for an extra kick in your pants, do it. To be effective in your business, you’ve got to do the work to make it happen.
Of course you are going to stumble and fall down along the way but what’s important is that you don’t stay down. Entrepreneurship is a journey, you’ve got to be willing to take the good with the bad, learn from the lessons and enjoy the trip!
- Perfectionist Traits: Ten Telltale Traits of a Perfectionist
- Overcoming Perfectionism: How to Work Past Your Perfectionism
I know I’m not alone on this one, do you have PERFECTIONIST tendencies? What do you do to “manage your condition?” Share in the comments below: