“You will never change your life until you change something you do DAILY.
The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
John C. Maxwell
Persistence, if you have been following my writings for any length of time, is a recent topic. Two weeks ago, I wrote about persistence from the perspective of managing self-change in business. So how is this week’s focus different? There is overlap; and yet, I want to address and emphasize the issues of patterns of behavior, patterns in the way we interact with others, and patterns in how we structure our day that have such powerful impact on our businesses. And too, I want you to pay attention to which patterns are serving you, which are obstructing you in you business and, which patterns you have not yet developed that could make a world of difference to your level of success.
“Spontaneity is one of the joys of existence,
especially if you prepare for it in advance.”
Alan Dean Foster in
“Nor Crystal Tears”
One of the top predictors of success, persistence may not necessarily be one of your top patterns. Or, you may persist, but at the things that are not priorities or that do not change your business outcomes. But…to say it clearly, patterns of persistence that work for you can be developed – if you, lol, persist.
The truth is, that changing our patterns is at best challenging and, often unsuccessful in the general population – which is why there is a one percent of the population who become truly successful – or as successful as they can be. Changing patterns consistently can sometimes be a painful, and painfully slow process, but the top producers and winners, are great at persisting where others quit.
“Money grows on the tree of persistence”
Persevering in your work to change up what you do, and to break through barriers where others have failed because they failed to persist, is the game-changer. The outcomes, if you persist, are often breakthroughs to successes and achievements you hardly thought possible.
As business leaders, whether owner, CEO, manager or entrepreneur, our personal strengths and weaknesses play into our daily successes. How? They impact and reinforce the patterns we have developed, impacting what we do, when we do it, how we do it, as well as how well we do it.
We all like to do things we can already do well – or at least think we do well. The truth is that we are often poor judges of whether everything we are doing is helping the business or us. Usually, the only reason is because we have not taken the time to sit back and think about – analyze – or measure our own personal processes.
“If you cannot measure it, you can not improve it.”
Lord Kelvin (Sir William Thomson)
As CEO’s and bosses, we are constantly thinking about metrics that will measure the processes and outcomes of the business and our employees’ efforts; but we often fail to check out our own processes to ensure they are in fact – rather than just a fictional story in our own heads, having a positive impact on your company outcomes and on those who work within it.
Persistence in critical analysis of what we are doing is what is required if we are to deal with our patterns of behavior and interactions, and what we do during any day from start to finish. Also required? Complete honesty. We are talking about the type of honesty that comes without bashing ourselves over the head with destructive criticism, but has the potential to show us what we are doing that is working and what we likely need to change up.
Take a look at your regular day. How do you start it? How do you finish it? How efficient and effective are you? Do you run in chaos through most of the day? Do you end the day completely exhausted, or do you have energy left to give to your family, your spouse, your animals, or to the other things in life that feed your soul? Do you find yourself doing the same thing week in and week out without seeing an upswing in your bottom line (we are talking increased business and revenue)? Do you feel as though nothing is working or going your way? Are you beginning to feel defeated by the process and by the business, or are you energized still by the dream?
“The dream is free, but the journey isn’t.”
The difference between being energized and exhausted is structure, constructive patterns in your own process, and discipline of process (always with the flexibility required to handle the emergencies and crises that inevitably happen). We require the self-discipline to stick to the pattern, the persistence to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done, to evaluate or analyze what needs evaluating and analyzing, and to persist in maintaining the structure and discipline that works, rather than letting it go in an exhausted moment.
Failing to develop a system that supports your filing and information retrieval system is self-destructive. You can tell yourself that you just don’t have the time, but you know that at the end of the week, month, or quarter, that small failure becomes a big problem. Developing the self-discipline to persist in maintaining these kinds of daily systems that support you in the bigger picture is what makes the difference.
So ask yourself: Do you have a structure that works for you? Do you have a system that works for you? How do you know if it’s working for you? Is your business growing to its full potential? Are you working to your full potential? Do you persist in planning your day and dealing with the interruptions in a way that still takes care of the priorities, and doesn’t destroy your system completely?
A Plan of Action
Plan a Routine: Stick to it
Take time at the beginning of each day to:
- Set out time frames for accomplishing what you need to get done today to meet not just today’s priorities but those ‘must do’s’ that are coming (you know what they are)
- Set the time frames according to the priorities you know
- Allow some time for those priorities or crises that pop up (much like the doctor or dentist who holds one slot during the day for the patient with a crisis)
- Plan time frames and develop processes for the priorities on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis (you know already what they are)
- Learn how to say a solid “No” to requests from others, and those activities around you that do not serve your business success or the priorities that you need to meet to grow your bottom line (Once your business is well-established and you are financially secure, you can take on outside activities that serve your community in a different way; learn to tell the difference.)