Something you inevitably have to face when you’re working for yourself are the ups and downs of productivity. It’s just not possible to be on your game 100% of the time. In fact, i’ve often found at least for me personally that when I crush it for a month or two it can result in a huge dip in motivation afterwards.
I’m also living in a cool foreign city right now (Manila, Phillipines) and there’s a lot to do. I’ve got a bit of a busy social calendar combined with the fact that I have to make adjustments to deliver things for my clients back home in the USA and my schedule has been all over the place.
So I was writing down the steps i’d take to get out of this rut and get a bit more focus back into my daily routine.
I love the occasional motivational video or book but I’m much more of a believer in systems and steps to ensure success rather than willpower.
So to help reset my focus there are two key things i’m going to do.
1.) I’m not currently open to any new opportunities, partnerships, clients, leads, ideas, businesses, etc.
I’m in a fortunate position in that I get a decent amount of emails, referrals, etc. for people wanting to do some kind of business with me. Most of the time these don’t go anywhere but they take up a lot of time. My main business outside of consulting came from exactly this kind of networking so I do worry a bit about shutting it off. What if that one million dollar opportunity comes in but I don’t even engage in the conversation?
But… the truth is I just don’t have enough time right now to take on anything new and doing so would significantly lower my ability to effectively deliver on the projects i’m currently working on. Just having these discussions also uses a lot of mental real estate and more than anything else can distract my focus. It’s shiny object syndrome and I just can’t allow it in my life right now.
2.) I will start the day with this simple but effective system that helps get me going.
- At my desk or coffee shop by 10 AM
- Rescue Time set to 90 minutes and Focus at Will set to the same
- No email open for the first hour.
- First hour is strictly for writing for my affiliate site i’m working on.
- After two hours at max I will take a break to get outside, move around, hop in the pool, etc.
- After my first break I will have another dedicated 90-120 minute block
It’s quite simple but I know for myself it can produce good results. I work best when focusing on just a few clients & projects so it’s time to get to it and give them my best effort.
Then when i’m done work I can enjoy my time in the sun while everyone at home is stuck in the snow.