Use a calendar – either manual, digital, or both. Check and update it every day. Being organized is essential to entrepreneurial discipline. Set reminders for yourself and make sure you read them. Distractions will arise throughout the day which may cause you to glance over things. An overlooked appointment can mean a missed business opportunity; it can be hard to get second chances when there is competition lurking around the corner.
Have a good filing system. Locating important papers or tracking your follow-ups is extremely hard to do if you do not have a good one in place. If you are working alone or have limited space, file items in order of importance, set reminders to review them and be sure to mark them as complete. Consequently, this will help you remember what you are currently working on or what has yet to be started, especially if you easily get distracted. Marking items as complete also provides a sense of accomplishment. Trust me; a check mark can go a long way when your to-do list seems to get longer and longer.
Dedicate at least one hour of your peak time (the time when you get your best work done) to follow-ups. Good follow-ups instill confidence with your business partners or clients because they can count on you for a timely response. Even if you do not have a definitive answer, the fact that they know you are working on it speaks volumes. Following up also ensures that you and your clients are on the same wavelength in regards to their products or services.
Let’s face it; we have all had those days where we wanted to push the reset button and restart the day. Unfortunately, that button does not exist (I have tried looking). Having a good regimen when preparing for the day or even the week could not only save you time but potentially money. Laying out your clothes and items that you will need gives you a sense of structure and focus.
“Get ‘r done.” A popular phrase coined by Larry the Cable Guy. Do not put off something that can be done today for tomorrow, no matter how small. Putting off small items today can have a significant impact tomorrow. Taking care of little details can make all the difference in completing bigger tasks. Refusing to put off tasks will probably be your biggest challenge of all. Principally, it is something that will require the most discipline. Mel Robbins, a renowned speaker and CNN commentator, came up with the “5 Second Rule,” which states, “If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds, or your brain will kill the idea.”
Ultimately, maintaining discipline in all these areas is vital to being a successful entrepreneur. Having a good workflow and regimen will enable you to work efficiently, refine your products or services, and free up your mind to think of new creative and innovative ideas. Some say they can thrive in chaos, but for me and the vast majority, we cannot! I cannot guarantee things will instantly change, but with time and effort, I believe you will see the fruits of your labor. I challenge you to act, respond, and to accept the mission of being more disciplined in your business tasks. I am confident that it will make all the difference.