I’ve started making a conscious effort over the past few weeks to make changes in some of my behaviour patterns and how I deal with certain things in my day to day life. We’re not talking about quitting smoking (I don’t smoke), drinking less (I don’t drink) or not buying “scratch ‘n’ match” lottery tickets (I don’t gamble), I’m talking about just making some subtle changes to how I go about certain things.
This largely stems from an ever-increasing appreciation for the value of my time. I’ve always tried to be a bit selfish about my time, but by my nature, I’m a pretty helpful individual. When someone asks me a question, my first response is to help them out and give them what they are looking for.
Unfortunately, when you get busy that becomes totally unsustainable.
One of the areas that was the biggest waste of my time has always been getting involved in debates and discussions online. I like a good debate. If someone says something that I disagree with and I can articulate a clear opinion, I will. Before you know it, you’ve spent an hour responding back and forth on Facebook about who were the cuter couple: Ross and Rachel or Penny and Leonard?
Interestingly, the desire to pull back on this came recently when I found myself embroiled in the same debate for what seemed like the fifth time this week with more or less the same people. I was reading the same people, making the same comments to bait the same people who argued this point with them last time around.
I felt like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. I kept going into a few groups on Facebook and seeing the guy I knew in high school trying to sell me insurance before laughing at me while I stepped into a slush-filled pothole. At least Bill Murray was trying to impress Andie MacDowell, it appeared I was just trying to impress the idiot brigade on Facebook.
Now, let me be clear, this is a work in progress. I’m not cured of this. I caught myself engaged in this kind of stupidity again just now, but I’m making an effort. This is getting better and will improve more over time. I’ve taken on the simple philosophy that “everyone is fully within their rights to be wrong” and as a result, there’s no need to correct them.
And when you make up your mind to be more ruthless and efficient with your time, it’s fascinating how things can change. It’s currently 11:30pm as I write this email. I worked all day and then went out for dinner and drinks with some people from work.
Interestingly, when I was in Brisbane for the previous two days, these emails were written much earlier and scheduled. On Wednesday night, I wrote it before I went out for dinner because I knew I would be tired when I got back and may not be in the mood to write. The email yesterday was written at 5pm before catching a cab at 5:30 to the airport because again I knew that I would not land until 8pm, that gets me home around 9pm and I would be tired.
While I was in Brisbane I made a conscious effort to control my time better and so I planned my work accordingly. Tonight, I’ve fallen back into the habit of smashing out the email before bed and now I’m tired after a long day so my eyes are heavy. One model had me in control of my time and delivering the work in a way that makes sense, the other way is what I’m doing right now.
This all comes back to changing behaviours in your life so that you get the best results in your business and have maximum control over your time. I’m going to get way more ruthless over the second half of 2016 with my time. I enjoy writing these daily emails and they have instilled discipline into my day, but I’m going to try and get them written a bit earlier in the day.
I’m also thinking of waking up a bit earlier, maybe 6:30am and giving myself the first hour of every day to work on Casual Marketer. That could be content creation or marketing, but something to move the business forward but not the emails or the newsletters. I guess I’m going to make some extra time each day to do more.
Overall, I think I get a lot done and in fact, most people I speak to ask me how I get so much work done with so many things on. Now though, for the back half of this year, I want to take that from good to great – I want to make some changes to my behaviour patterns that will allow me to elevate what I’m doing and accelerate the growth of Casual Marketer.
Spend some time this weekend now that we’re at the half year and think about what behaviours you could change to improve yourself and your business.