I once thought that how I spent my time was the essential ingredient in determining how well I succeeded. Although that is true, I now also realize that how I think determines how I spend my time, so I go a bit deeper.
I read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, 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 totally focused on the
present moment and steer clear of our incessant thinking loop about the past and future. All that exists is the present moment, since the past is gone and the future has not yet arrived. Staying fully present opens us to a 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 stops 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 staying entirely present affect your business? Well, let's say that you sit at your computer answering e-mails and surfing the web for"research" when you know that your time would be better spent on product development or connecting with prospects to move your business forward. . What is going on in your head that causes this self-sabotaging behavior? What are you feeling? Most likely, your unconscious dialogue goes something like this:
"I feel guilty because I am wasting time once again since I know I cannot succeed at this anyway"
"That project is so big that I do not know where to begin so why even start"?
"If I call that person 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 earn 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, the scene would look more like this.
- Entrepreneur sits at computer.
- Entrepreneur feels inspired to write out product ideas and does so.
- Entrepreneur wants to connect with people who need this product; consequently, she makes calls.
Period. 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 every 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 to never reaching your dreams
- Being regularly distracted
- Incomplete projects
- Avoiding important networking events
- Avoiding making key telephone calls
- Telling yourself a story about how life or the economy is keeping you from attaining your goals.
Spend just one day working on staying present. The following process that works well for me:
- Place a Post-It on your computer that says, "CHECK IN".
- 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 not true.
- Do not allow your mind to tell you a story about how you do not have time to do this!
This was an eye-opening exercise for me. There are many techniques that can help you start 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 will begin to flow in the right direction.