Do It Anyways 

I am starting to train for an upcoming race in Feb, Sean O Brian 100K. I have trained and ran this race several times. It’s local, Western States Qualifier, really hard and put on by one of my favorite race directors. So it’s a no brainer.
With no race on the books this summer, I have had this attitude of I don’t feel like it today. So with a 100K on the books and a training schedule written, the alarm rings at 4 am to head out to meet Regina for our Tuesday morning run. I’m feeling so tired and could be convinced to hit the snooze button or turn it off completely; then it dawned on me to be successful at any goal you have to do it even when you do not want to.
I started to think about how to apply this idea to other areas of my life, such as working in and running my small social media business. For the most part, I set the rules for myself, and no one cares what time I start or finish the job unless I am on the schedule for an on-site meeting or an event. I ponder the idea of what if I only worked if I felt like it? I would have a lot of angry clients; I certainly wouldn’t still be in business nine years later.
One of my biggest takeaways from ultra running is that you have to DO IT ANYWAYS. No one, I don’t care how passionate gets up every morning inspired, I am learning that success equals consistency, with all things.
Over the years, I have learned that setting up rules and routines for myself helps me maintain that consistency daily; I overheard this quote a few weeks back that speaks perfectly to this “Through discipline we find freedom.”
I’ll share my rules and routines with you in the event they might help you. Remember these are guidelines, they can be adjusted, but for the most part, I keep to these.

1. Establish a Start Time 

I do this because I am the queen and wasting time and getting lost in some project around the house. I find the hardest part of working for yourself is starting. My rule, for the most part, is to be sitting in from of my computer coffee brewing every day by 9 am. I also pick 9 am because I’m an earlier riser, so that means I go to sleep early.

2. Establish a Quitting Time 

When this was first suggested, I had a nervous breakdown about it. I think I thought and said things like that might work for your business, but I work with restaurants, and I have events. Blah Blah Blah… Again this is a guideline, things will come up such as event or deadline, but in general, I try to wrap work up ever day by 5:30 pm or 6:30 pm. The reason I do this is our to-do list is endless, and we’ll never get it all done, this makes me prioritize what’s important each day is. I believe without a quitting time, you’ll create burnout, even if you love your work.

3. I work Monday- Friday 

I keep client meetings to Monday-Friday if I do work on the weekend, it is typically for special events or because I have fallen behind in my work week and need a large block of uninterrupted time. I always let clients know upfront before we start working together that our office hours are Monday-Friday 9-5 pm; that way, if that doesn’t work for them, they’ll be able to find someone else that works weekends or off-hours.

4. Work Morning Routine

Now to my routines. As I mentioned above, the hardest thing about working from home is STARTING, actually sitting down in my deck and getting to work. I learned about routines and habits during the Lifehack Bootcamp productivity workshop a few years back; as part of the program, Demir had us create a morning work routine that is the same each day. My morning work routine was a gamer changer for me; it’s getting me into the mindset of working daily.

  1. Coffee or Tea – DUH, who can start work without this.
  2. Read the Life Map. My Life Map is just that a map of my life for the next 12 months, you start by laying out your mission, and then a vision for a point in time in the upcoming year. My Vision has me in Truckee with my friend Jennifer getting ready to run the Western State 100 race, completely debt-free. This Vision includes your personal and professional goals. What I like about the vision exercise is you pick a point in time, and you tell a story about what it will be like; reading the Life Map every morning, gives me the feeling that it’s already happened. I have noticed that my decisions are algin with this specific Vision
  3. 15-20 Minutes of Writing – I have a personal goal to write daily and share my experience, although not the best writer when it comes to grammar I am a pretty good storyteller and teacher. I learn so much from running this small business that I feel others might learn from as well. These writings are posted on my website’s on my blog, social media, and send out in an email. I have received excellent feedback so far. A sneaky way to get your marketing done.
  4. Check cash flow worksheet and business bank accounts; this has been key in allowing my business to become stable and run on 100% cash.
  5. Spotify – Tunes for the day of coarse
  6. Check Unroll Me, which I freakin LOVE; this allows me to subscribe to any email newsletter I want and consume it when I have time. Keeping these emails out of my inbox saves me at least an hour a day.
  7. Check Asana; Asana is a project management software! This is the best piece of software we use in our business, before Asana Ashley and our days were spend putting out fires because of something we forgot to do, it was a nightmare. This software organizes each task by due dates, the other great part is we can communicate about the project within Asana instead of email.
  8. Process email to zero. This one is BIG. Each morning I go through my email box. I use this rule, if it email can be handled in less than 2 minutes I do it, it is going to take longer I forward it to Asana, and it will need to be scheduled into a project for later in the day or week depending on our workflow. I am working on limited email access. I notice when you work in email you are working on everyone else priorities instead of yours and not leveraging your work. Email, in my opinion, is a big-time waster. I miss the days of phone calls.
I would love to hear how you start your dates and any tips and tricks you use to be productive in your businesses.