Written By: Maleeka T. Hollaway
One of the best perks of being an entrepreneur is the flexibility of being able to make your own schedule. On the contrary, this is also one of our largest struggles. Once you know you make all the rules, it's as if a huge sign saying "Oh, it can wait until later!" drops out of the heavens and into your hands. Because we are the masters of our "9 to 5" time, we often get lost in our own shuffle of daily methods of operation. I believe there is a word for this, and that word is "procrastination."
Procrastination is something that each and every person on the planet has delved in at some point or another. I'm sure you remember in grade school when you put off studying for that math test until the night before saying "oh, I work best under pressure." Or maybe you've adopted the kind of procrastination where you've allowed yourself to delay completing a task because the due date is a week away. No matter the case, procrastination can prove to be dangerous to those of us who master our own "9 to 5."
The truth is, procrastination stifles your creativity and downplays your ability to be accountable to yourself. Let's not allow another day to go by where we waste time on frivolous activities or simply by doing nothing. Here are four tips you can implement today so that you maximize every moment of time you have.
1. Plan each day intentionally.
As a business owner, there should never be a day where you have absolutely nothing to do. From the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep, your days should be filled with activities. And not just random "to-do" lists, but things that are income-producing or life-fulfilling. And if you feel like you need to unwind, plan time to do so. Every moment of every day must be intentional.
2. Keep track of your daily progress.
There is no better feeling than seeing tasks being crossed off your "to-do" list. I've found that as I complete things on my lists, the more I can mark off, the more energy I have. I get pumped by seeing progress. Yes, this is when you have to be your own cheerleader! Take note of what days you don't get everything done. Pay attention to what distracts you so you can keep those things out of your path. This may seem simple but you would be surprised at how difficult it is to manage self instead of others.
3. Treat yourself like you're an employee, not the boss.
Ask yourself: what characteristics would you want to see in an employee? Would you want them to go through their work day as if they are on their own time? Would you be okay with their excuses for why they didn't complete every task you assigned them? Would you want to reward them with a raise if they failed to meet your standards? Every now and then, we have to play mind tricks with ourselves to keep us on our toes. As long as the end result is progress, play on! Be the employee you would want to hire. Technically, you are an employee before you're a boss (even when you work for yourself).
4.Work even when you don't feel like it.
This one's a biggie. Naturally, when our mood changes, so does our motivation to work. It's easier said than done but training your mind to stay in work mode when your body or other outside forces may be telling it to "stop," is key. You are in a marathon, you may take breaks but breaks delay making it to the finish line. I'm not telling you to let yourself burn out but I am telling you to push through what you feel and focus on your end goal.
The old cliché "Life is short," couldn't be closer to the truth; but let's change our perspective on this. I once heard, "Life is short but it's the longest thing you will ever do." When you look at time as being of the essence in every way, your desire to work harder will begin to shift for the better. Everyone is given the same amount of time in one day. If you have the time to work today, why wait until tomorrow? What you choose to do with your time has the capability to make or break your business.
What do you choose to do: work or wait?
Maleeka Taliha Hollaway, a native of Atlanta, GA, is the founder and CEO of The OfficialMaleeka Group, LLC, a boutique-styled social branding hub specializing in life coaching, business consulting, writing services and public relations. Maleeka is an Internationally Certified Life Success Coach, a candid public speaker, business & branding strategist (Internationally Certified Business Success Coach) and Best-Selling author (co-Authoring "20 Beautiful Women: Volume 2"). She is devoted to mentoring and coaching people of all ages and genders in discovering how to live the life they desire, as she is blossoming into one of the most inspirational and influential millennial voices of this generation.
When not working on her own personal blog, Maleeka blogs on The Huffington Post. Maleeka completes freelance editing and proofreading for other published authors and writers.
Maleeka holds a Bachelor's of Arts in English from Alabama A & M University and is currently studying for a Master's of Science in Communications Specialist. Maleeka's International certifications are through The Coach Training Academy and affiliated with the Certified Coaches Alliance (CCA).
Connect with Maleeka on www.officialmaleeka.com Or @OfficialMaleeka on Twitter. FB, IG, Periscope & Blab.