What keeps you (and your business) going?
- Are you one of those people who like to save all the inspirational quotes on Facebook or Pinterest? Do you like to see them on the walls of homes and offices?
- Or, do you like to read and get new ideas and inspiration from books? How-to books that show you how to be or do something better line your shelves and sit on your nightstand. Perhaps you like those books that make you think, and ponder what you want to have in your life.
- Another option may be the people around you. Perhaps you hand pick the colleagues who are helping you grow your business. You decide what the needs are and then seek the person who fills that need and can grow and develop into new roles.
There are many options that feed our motivation and drive. And, often, we use different motivators in different situations.
But I want to add one that can do more than just motivate. It can relieve anxiety and bring you calm and feelings of being in control.
The reason why is that this technique allows you to release much of what’s going on in your head so it can relax and attend to what is immediately in front of you and things that are really important.
C – R – E – A – T – E L – I – S – T – S
Of course, we all know about the ubiquitous “To-Do” list. But let yourself move beyond that limiting vision and see what a difference lists can make for you.
The Responsibility List: This list is really useful in times of change. You take on a new role and you are juggling lots of new tasks. Having a list of what you are responsible for on your desk allows you to free your mind to stop replaying all the “new.”
The Personal Affirmation List: When doubt and fear creep in, having a list of affirmations that bolster your personal belief and confidence can be priceless. In fact, keeping one in your wallet means it is mobile and can be reviewed in a bathroom during a stressful meeting, before a major presentation or after a troubling call interrupts your mojo while making a sales call.
Core Life Values List: I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get pulled into the excitement of a new project and later realize that it is pulling me away from the path and purposes I most value. It might be exciting and might even be profitable. But if I am not proud and eager to share it, I know that I won’t want to be involved long-term. And that means it doesn’t fit me and I am wasting precious time and energy – and maybe even a monetary investment. When I get that niggling feeling in the pit of my stomach, I can review my Core Life Values List to see if there is a fit or if there is dissonance for a reason.
Process Lists: Lists can also streamline projects and events. I do a lot of webinars and workshops. When I have a list of exactly what all must be done in the process to create, market and deliver those events, I can work through them like clockwork and know that I will provide the best educational opportunity for participants.
Action Items, Calls to Make, Waiting For and Errands Lists: Yes, these do mostly fall under the “To-Do” list category, but trying to mentally catalog all these things is nerve wracking because you know you are going to forget something or drop the ball somewhere. And there is nothing worse than forgetting a birthday gift for your child’s friend’s birthday party. Get it out of your head and onto paper.
Links and Resources List: How often does someone share a new app or article that they think will be useful to you but you don’t have time to drop everything and look at it right then? Collect them in a list, maybe dividing it into apps, resource sites and articles. Then you won’t find yourself later trying to find it in an email, on Facebook or even puzzling over who told you about it. We are busy, we can’t capture and do everything, but this list is remarkably useful.
Personal Development Lists
Books to Read List: It is not infrequent that someone tells me about a great book or ideas they got from a recent read and I think, “Oh, I want to get that book.” And then I forget about it. It’s aggravating because had I captured the title, author and main topic or concept on my cell phone, the next time I am ordering a book from Amazon and want to save on shipping by ordering the $35 minimum, I have a list of options. That prevents me from just picking a title because “it looks interesting.”
People You Admire or Respect List: Everyone has people they look up to and admire. I have to tell you that several times in my career I have reached out to people I admire who didn’t know me from Sam. When I needed answers to questions or wanted to learn more, I emailed, called or sent a note. And you know what, they responded to me – personally. Not only that, but I have built some of the most satisfying business relationships and developed personal skills in this way. So, keep the list and reach out. Just sending a note asking the question or seeking help to someone you admire and respect could be a bridge to new opportunities. It has been for me.
You get the idea. Lists are perfect for getting things out of your head but not losing them. They aren’t forever, cut into stone, rules to live by for the most part, but they can keep you motivated, in the groove and on track. They can be for anything or any purpose – you are the artist here.
With technology, you can keep them handy and, with a little discipline, grow them into useful tools you will use every day. Build a good habit.
To Your Success,