Have you ever considered making no resolutions for the new year? We all know what they usually look like…
I’m going to lose 25 pounds.
I’m will hit the gym every day.
My goal is to double my income.
We are two weeks into the new year. How are your resolutions doing? People everywhere are setting resolutions, hoping to better themselves in the new year. However, 80% of resolutions fail by February. For true success this year, you need no resolutions. Meaning “NO” resolutions. Ultimately, your success depends more on what you say no to than what you say yes to. Most of us say yes to too many things, resulting in lives that are difficult to manage because they are so busy.
“NO” resolutions! Say “NO” to these things:
1. Busy work
It’s easy to think you’re being productive when you’re actually just being busy. You might spend lots of time organizing your files, writing goals and plans, or making call lists. You’re getting ready to get ready! That’s not working your business because it produces no income. Think about tasks you do that are high income producing activities – in other words, what makes you money. In my business, it’s when I’m doing a sales presentation, because I’m selling training. Another is when I’m actually doing the training.
It’s vital to devote most of your time to working in your highest income producing activities, also called primary business builders. Some activities don’t make you money, but they’re still important, like checking email and LinkedIn. These are indirect, or secondary, business building activities. They need to get done but don’t get caught up in spending a lot of your time here.
Then there are the time-suckers. There are two types of time-sucking activity. The first type includes necessary tasks like grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, or yard work. They’re important, but they do nothing at all to produce income. Then there’s the second type: those daily distractions that kill your focus. This can easily happen when you go online to make a LinkedIn connection and get sidetracked by an interesting post. Or you’re on YouTube learning a new social media platform for your business and end up clicking on that funny dog video that pops up on the side. Both types of time-suckers steal momentum, and we’re often unaware of the impact.
A challenge for you
If you truly want to get a handle on this and see where your time is actually being spent, there’s a way to find out. Keep an activity log. It’s a pain, but it’s worth doing because it will show you clearly what types of activities you’re spending your time on. When I did it, I was amazed to see how many little pieces of time were getting away from me. So here’s the challenge: carry a pad and pencil around with you. At at the end of every 15 minutes, write down what you did. When you go back over your log, list the different types of tasks by category: primary and secondary business activities, and time-suckers. Pay special attention to any task that breaks your momentum and pulls you away from reaching your goals. These are activities that you can add to your “no resolutions.”
Next, analyze your day and figure out when you are doing you’re highest income producing activities. What hours of the day are your most productive? Some of you work 8 to 5. Some meet clients in the evening or on weekends. Examine and determine which times you make the most money and when your target market is most available.
Here’s the power punch:
Now that you’ve determined your highest income producing activities and your highest income producing hours, bring them together. Match your most productive hours with your most productive activities, and say no to everything else during those hours. Even those important secondary activities need to wait until it’s not peak productivity time. For example, LinkedIn is very important for our lead generation, but we don’t use it during prime business hours. I’m also careful not to schedule doctor or dentist appointments during those hours because those blocks of time are too valuable. Apply “no resolutions,” meaning “No, I’m not going to be distracted during these hours. No, I’m not going to confuse high income producing activities with things that pull me off track and distract me.”
Make no multitasking a no resolution. During your highest income producing hours, maintain focus for your highest income producing activities, which means do not multitask. Multitasking is a myth. You can only think about one thing at a time. Block off a certain amount of time for a particular task, and set it up the night before. If I wait until morning, something will distract me and throw off my whole day. Mastering time is key to goal achievement and success.
3. Toxic people
You should also apply “no resolutions” to toxic people. These are people that want to rain on everybody’s parade. They’re negative, they’re nasty, they’re unhappy, and they may even verbally attack you. You don’t need to have toxic people hurt you like that. Unfortunately, you often can’t avoid them, especially if it’s your boss or co-worker. So what can you do? Learn some assertive communication skills, and study how to apply them to toxic people. They’re like splinters: it may hurt a little to get the splinter out, but it’ll hurt more to ignore it because leaving it in there will let it get infected. Learn how to communicate assertively and therefore work effectively with these people. Next year, Joe, Joy and I will be having a one-day event on assertive communication, so watch for that if you’re in the Orlando area.
4. Toxic situations
Maybe you’re with the right company but not in the right specific job. You might have taken the position to get your foot in the door with a certain corporation, and next thing you know, a couple years have gone by, and now you feel stuck. You might need to take some online courses or get extra training to go for the position that you really want. Maybe you’re in the wrong career entirely and it’s time for a change. You are where you are today because of decisions you made five years ago. If you’re thinking of a second career, go for it. Think about what you’ll have to do to prepare for it, and be thinking five years down the road.
In order to apply your “no resolutions”, you may need some extra training. Make the time for it, or trivial minutiae will eat up your life. I’m reading, studying, and learning on a daily basis. A day doesn’t pass that I didn’t learn something new, and that means I had to say no to some other things. If you’re looking to have a better year in sales, you might want to talk to us about our sales training. Maybe you want to improve your lead generation, and our lead generation training on LinkedIn could help you. In order to expand your business, maybe you need training in branding. Some of you may be thinking you don’t have the money, but if it’s your passion, you’ll do whatever it takes to find some way to make it happen. Keep an eye on the future and invest in yourself. Say no to the things that are distracting you, stopping you, or stealing your momentum. Start saying yes to yourself, and to the things that will move you ahead and build the future of your dreams.