When looking to make improvements in our business, we often turn to books, articles, podcasts, and the like to learn what things we should be doing. Quite often, though, we really need to stop doing things to see positive changes in our business, which is entirely counter to our culture. Stopping activities is overlooked as a way to amplify our success in a world that’s constantly bombarding us with messages to do more, spend more, eat more, and be more, yet it works! Nike tells us to Just Do It but sometimes, you’ll be more productive and get a lot more traction when you Just Don’t Do It. Stop engaging in the following activities and you’ll gain desired traction in your business, plus win back some sanity.
15 Quick Ways To Amplify Your Success
1. Stop Saying Yes To Activities You Want To Say No To
Whenever someone asks you for coffee or to collaborate on a project, you might tend to let your kind heart win over your brain that’s telling you no. You might say yes simply because you don’t want to hurt their feelings. Listen to yourself. If it’s not a hell yeah!, make it a no. If you’re always saying yes to others’ priorities, you’re always putting off your own, which is not the way to success.
2. Stop Engaging In Activities That No Longer Serve You
Once upon a time, certain activities may have been a hell yeah!, but if overtime they’ve transformed into a meh, they’re no longer worth your finite time and energy. Periodically reevaluate if your meetings, networking events, associations, recurring tasks, and projects are still serving your business. You don’t have the bandwidth to do everything. No one does. Reallocate time to activities that serve you well. As your goals change, your needs do too, and that’s okay.
3. Stop That Belittling, Negative Self-Talk
This may be the hardest thing to stop. Ever heard the saying, “New level; new devil”? As you grow your business, you’re constantly going outside your comfort zone and the more success you attain, the more uncomfortable situations you’ll have to put yourself in to keep charging forward. That means you’ll create plenty of opportunities to second guess yourself, your skills, and your talents. Identify negative self-talk and stop it in its tracks. You’ve come this far because you do have what it takes. Don't convince yourself otherwise.
4. Stop Eating Crap
Indigestion, bloating, fatigue, and the like are no fun. Any food or drink that doesn’t make you feel amazing should be left out of your diet. I had to cut out gluten and dairy to feel better and man, was it worth it! I’m a whole new me, with new energy and I no longer feel sluggish. What can you cut out that will help you increase your energy and improve your focus? Stop consuming crap that makes you feel like crap!
5. Stop Going To Bed Late
If you’re a night owl, great. Embrace your nocturnality by using nighttime to do your most productive work, then sleep in to get adequate rest. But don’t use nighttime to surf the internet, binge Netflix, or spring clean if it makes you lack energy and stamina the next morning when you’re meeting with a client or doing important work. You have a responsibility to yourself and those you serve to show up at your best. Make sleep a priority. Determine what time you need to go to bed to get enough sleep for your unique body and needs.
6. Stop Saying Tomorrow
As Benjamin Franklin says, “Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” Otherwise, you’ll always be chasing that carrot and never accomplish much. The best day to take action on your goals is today. Putting tasks off until tomorrow leads to the next day and the next day and the next day. Parkinson’s Law dictates that tasks expand to the amount of time given. If you keep pushing off a task you could be doing today, you’ll never get to it.
7. Stop Chasing Shiny Objects
Are you guilty of getting starstruck by your own ideas and chasing after each one like the paparazzi? Chasing this collaboration, that idea, this partnership, or that new deal, doesn’t allow you to focus and double down on the plan you devised yesterday. If you’re constantly starting new projects before finishing old ones, you’re crushing your productivity and momentum. When you have a new idea, add it to a running list you can periodically evaluate to determine if you really want to take action on it. This is such a better strategy than taking action on every idea so you wind up with a ton of half-done projects and little to show for your time and work.
8. Stop Negotiating With Yourself
If you pride yourself on being a great negotiator, you’ll negotiate yourself right out of success. You’ll make justifications as to why you’re not going to wake up early to get the project done. You’ll use how you’re feeling or your energy level or your lack of motivation to justify not working on the activities that will move the needle in your business. When you set goals for yourself, you do so with a positive mindset and the intention of achieving them. Keep your eyes on the prize and stop negotiating yourself out of achieving your goals.
9. Stop Working Through Breaks
Working for hours on end is a big no-no. You may equate the many hours you’re working with higher productivity but your brain isn’t capable of focusing for hours upon hours without rest. Taking breaks allows you to refuel your body and refocus your mind. Periodically step away from your work, even if just for a few minutes, to give yourself the opportunity to refresh.
10. Stop Trying To Do Everything On Your Own
You may think you’re the only one capable of doing a particular task in your business but that belief limits your success. Sure, you may be able to do the task faster or better. You may believe by the time you explain how to do it to someone else, you could have done it already. And you’re probably right! What you’re failing to do, however, is consider the teaching of that task to be an investment. Every time you train someone to do one of your tasks, you’re setting yourself up to not have to do that task in the future. If a 15-minute task takes an hour to teach, you will start seeing a return on that investment after only four times of someone else performing that task. So, if you foresee having to do that task at least four more times, delegate it. Delegating allows you to leverage, live a life by design, and not be a slave to your business.
11. Stop Trying To Do It All
You will never complete every task on your list so stop trying. Stop even believing you can. Even thinking you can or should causes anxiety, stress, and frustration. Also, if you were to get everything on your to-do list done, you would be out of business anyway. You must continue adding more to your to-do list than you can get done in a day to continue growing your business. Tweak your mindset to know you’ll never get it all done because it will force you to prioritize which is the best way to work through your task list productively.
12. Stop Settling For Less Just Because You’re Comfortable
The biggest growth in your business happens when you put yourself in uncomfortable, possibly risky situations - situations that stretch your boundaries and expand your skill sets and knowledge. You may be comfortable now but if you stop reaching for higher milestones, you’ll feel the repercussions of your decision to settle down the road and it won’t be pretty. Take smart, calculated risks in your business to earn the most rewarding results on the horizon.
13. Stop Surrounding Yourself With Negative People
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future” and that’s because you become like the company you keep. It’s hard to keep a growth mindset and believe in yourself when you’re constantly in the company of people who aren’t your cheerleaders. Surround yourself with positive, driven, successful entrepreneurs and you’re more likely to become one. You’ll also be inspired, learn to think bigger, challenge yourself to level up, and be enabled to see what’s possible.
14. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
It’s so easy to scroll social media and hear about someone getting an award or coming out with an amazing, new product and compare your success to theirs. If you get inspired by others’ success stories and it drives you to be a better version of yourself, fantastic! But if comparing yourself becomes unhealthy to the point it’s negatively affecting your self-esteem, stop doing it! Embrace your own history in which you overcame challenges to get to where you are today. Focus on your own journey ahead. Lean in to your own unique strengths, skill sets, and experiences you can bring to your industry instead of comparing your weaknesses to others.
15. Stop Thinking You Should Be Productive All Day, Every Day
Productivity is simply Investing your best time into your best activities – the ones that will propel you toward achieving your goals. No entrepreneur can be productive 24/7 because when you run a business, busy work still needs to get done, fires put out, bank accounts reconciled, interruptions dealt with, and employees managed. Each of those activities must be done effectively and efficiently but you’re not being productive when you do them. Those tasks don’t directly increase your profits. If you work on your highly productive activities only three hours a day, you will get far better results than being kept busy by non-productive tasks eight hours a day. Make it your goal to be productive but not all throughout your day. Striving for that goal would be buying a one-way ticket to burnout.
Adding to your already overloaded plate and calendar to level up your business doesn’t make sense. Focus on stopping the time and energy-consuming activities keeping you from success so you can clear the way for activities that will grow your business. Sometimes to go fast, you must first go slow but that careful consideration and effort sets the foundation to amplify your success.