I am a fan of keeping a running ‘to-do’ list updated each day. Not only do I use it myself, I suggest this to all of my clients. Things will come at you from all directions, that is a given. But if you start with a plan for your day, when you are sidetracked, you have something to go back to so you can get focused again.
Start with ‘Must do’ items. These are your top priorities and likely based on client needs. Then look at ‘Should do’ tasks. And finally, ‘Like to do’. They may change throughout your day, but this will help you keep pace with your ever-changing demands.
Each night before you leave the office, review your day, and plan ahead for tomorrow. Think about coming into the office the next morning fresh, with a plan, and ready to hit the ground running.
Practice this. Over time it will become 2nd nature to you and alleviate a great deal of your day-to-day stress.
Another thing. When and where possible, get the mundane tasks (the ones you continually procrastinate about), out-of-the-way first. This will give you a great sense of accomplishment and free your mind up for the more important tasks you face. You know what these tasks are: recording your time, and small admin things that pile up. They won’t go away, so you might as well tackle them first and then move on to the work that you enjoy.
Change is all about habits. Discarding old habits that don’t serve you and establishing new habits that do. You do this by making your best effort to put attention to practicing them everyday. When you do this, overtime they will become second nature. It might surprise you how quickly this can happen.
Prioritize: Whether it be forming new habits in your personal life or in business, it starts with one step at a time. Start with your top priority. What would you like to change first? Focus on that and when you are fairly comfortable and confident with this new habit, look at the next priority you would like to focus on.
Patience: Don’t be so hard on yourself. One step at a time. New behaviors take time to cement. But the more you practice the better you will get. It’s just like anything really. Once you understand this and have some success, any additional habits you’d like to change will come much easier and faster.
“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”
– Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of The United States
As a coach I am acutely aware of how people in general look at change. It’s big, scary, unknown, and can be intimidating; filled with apprehension. The funny thing about change is that it is one of the most ‘constants’ of our daily life.
If you are looking to change something, anything, it all starts with forming new habits. I encourage you not to look at how far you need to go, but look at what you can do today to start on the path forward.
Based on my work and my own life and business experience, the most important thing about forming new habits is consistency. It’s less important how much time you devote to this new habit, and far more important to do it every day-that builds the habit! Let’s face it, we are all busy, Some days you will have more time than others to focus on your new habit. That’s ok.
The other day I was at the gym. I had a busy day but decided a short work out was better than no work out. I was chatting with a couple of personal trainers about this. They work with people every day, just like me, helping them to form new habits. They both totally agreed that it was far more important to establish the ‘habit’, than how long you were doing it.
So, one day at a time. Whatever new habit you are looking to form, whether it’s about eating, exercise, business, relationships, giving more time to yourself; do something, even it it’s just a little focus, everyday. Before you know it, this new habit will become second nature, a part of your daily routine. And you will be one step closer to your goal. In fact, keep it up every day and before you know it, you won’t be able to live without it.
Although this might be self-serving, I didn’t write it or speak to it. If you’ve ever thought about getting a coach to help you grow and manage your business, I highly recommend you watch this TED Talk. Warning! There are some graphic images. And it gets a little emotional at the end. It’s inspiring, uplifting and real life proof of what coaching can do. Enjoy.
We all get them, those pesky Negative thoughts. It might be when you are waiting to hear back from a potential client and you don’t know why it’s taking so long for them to get back to you? Do you find yourself going negative? Coming up with a back story that may or may not be true? Or waiting to hear that a deal has closed. Whatever it may be, how well does that serve you?
How about turning those negative thoughts into positive action? So instead of being in ‘scarcity’ worrying about where the next file will come from, pick up the phone and call a client. Invite a prospect out for lunch. Write an article. Look at your client list and see who you can reach out to?
Negative thoughts often come as ‘warning signs’. Use those warnings in a positive way and get into action. Your goal should be to get to a point where you have so much positive around you, you don’t have time to think, wait, dwell or create a story (negative). You are simply in positive action. #businesscoach #intoaction #moveforward
Over time little drops of water accumulate and form a puddle; growing into a stream, flowing into a river and eventually creating a lake, rushing into the ocean. And that’s exactly how growing your practice or firm works. New habits take time, and with repetition create lasting and impactful results. It all starts with that first drop; or in your case, first step.
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OnTrac and Gary Mitchell named in The Top Ten Business Coaches to Help Law Firms Grow