Do you ever sabotage your business? This would look like procrastination, not following up, not focusing on the right activities, and more.
At one time I thought that how I spent my time was the vital ingredient in determining how well I succeeded. While that is true, I now also realize that how I think determines how I spend my time.
I once read "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose" by Eckhart Tolle. Tolle is a visionary whose ideas are so powerful that they have caused millions to experience more joy in their lives. His basic philosophy is that we need to work to stay focused on the present moment and steer away from our never-ending thinking loop about the past and future. Of course, all that exists is the present moment since the past is gone and the future hasn't yet arrived. Staying fully present opens us to a whole new level of creativity and productivity. It deters us from thinking about and acting on past beliefs and habits that no longer serve us well and it prevents us from believing that the present is just a means to arrive at some future time when we will have achieved enough to be happy.
How can being fully present affect your business? An example of that would be you sitting at your computer answering e-mails and surfing the web doing "research" when you know that to move your business forward your time would be better spent on developing products or calling and connecting with prospects. What is going on in your head that causes this self-sabotaging behavior? What are you feeling at that time? Most likely, the unconscious dialogue goes something like this.
"I feel guilty because I am wasting time, which is what I always do since I know that I cannot succeed at this anyway".
"That project is so large that I do not know where to begin so I will just not start".
"If I call that person I will probably just get voicemail or they will not have time to talk to me. I will wait until another day".
"If I do not make more money soon, I will be a failure.
" I am so busy that I do not have the time to create a strategy or plan, so I guess I am stuck in overwhelm"
Where do these stories we tell ourselves come from? If you did not tell yourself those stories, which come from past belief systems about yourself and the world that you are buying into, the scene would look more like this:
- Business owner sits at computer.
- Business owner feels inspired to write out product ideas and does so.
- Business owner wants to connect with people who truly need this product, so she makes telephone calls.
No mental junk. Only what is right in front of you at the moment that you are inspired to do from a peaceful place. And each task would feel like it just flows.
When we buy into past stories or spend the present dreaming about the future, we wind up wasting time now. The result could be any of the following:
- Resigning ourselves to never reaching our dreams
- Being regularly distracted
- Incomplete projects
- Avoiding important networking events
- Avoiding making important phone calls
- Telling yourself a story about how life or the economy is keeping you from reaching your goals.
Spend just one day working on staying present. Here is a process that I find helpful:
- Put a post it on your computer that says, "CHECK IN" in caps.
- Each time you see it, stop, take a deep breath and pull yourself out of your head and into the moment.
- Ask yourself if you are spending that moment doing what is important.
- See how you are feeling. If you feel angry, frustrated, fearful or guilty, ask yourself what story you are telling yourself that is false.
- Do not let your mind tell you a story about how you do not have time to do this!
This can be an eye-opening exercise. There are many techniques that can help you begin to master this idea of staying present. When you begin to do so, you will find that you are using time in a much more productive way and that your business and life will begin to flow in the right direction.