Signs of Spring… are you ready?

Have you ever noticed how each season brings its own unique set of actions and activities? And the change of the seasons often means we pack up or put away what we needed in the previous season and take out what we will need for the next? It doesn’t happen all at once, but it does happen. And many of us have transitional actions that allow us to shift rather smoothly from one to the other.

I don’t think work is any different! There is one set of actions and activities that are appropriate at the beginning of a project, and another way of working once it has gained some momentum.

Getting something started usually takes a massive amount of action – relative to the results produced. Once it gains some momentum, it will take less action to produce more results, faster. However, if you don’t modify the actions to be more appropriate to the stage of the project – you run the risk of inadvertently sabotaging all your progress!

Personally, the getting it started phase is the toughest for me. But only because it makes me crazy to take action after action after action and see little or no results in return. That is really hard work, in my book. Understanding the nature of that phase has kept me from giving up two calls shy of the goal!

I have heard it said that it can take ‘100 No’s to get to the Yes’.

So, I get through that phase by making it a game to count the No’s – and having absolute confidence that the tide will turn, eventually. Interestingly, I haven’t made it to 100 No’s yet, and have produced great results. And every single time I tackle bringing something new into existence I still think it should happen faster!

And then, once it does start to pay off, it brings work in a flood – which has its own set of challenges.

More about handling that flood stage next week…

Because, really, without a life, what’s the point?

Establishing Protocols – Why Bother?

One thing I find interesting in my research is the extent to which very successful people have established protocols for how they handle things.

For example, one organization may have a protocol that all routine emails are answered within one week, while another company may have a protocol that all emails receive a response within 24 or 48 hours. Or, this executive only checks email once or twice a day, and has set up an autoresponder letting people know that.

So, you could be working in an environment with some already-established protocols. But it is just as likely (especially if you are a relatively new entrepreneur) that you are operating without having established protocols for yourself.

What happens when you don’t have your own procedures established? You tend to spend a lot of time dealing with things as they come in throughout the day – allowing yourself to be interrupted every time you see new email come in, or every time the phone rings.

I just heard Tim Ferriss say ‘stop treating email as if it were IM’ – and I was struck by how often we do exactly that!

In the same interview he also said that the tools you choose to use to leverage your time should be for your own convenience, not the convenience of anyone else.

What would your protocols be if you were setting them up to leverage your time and if you were setting them up for your convenience?