As you know, it takes a lot of self-control to make it through the stressful workday. Something little can happen like the phone rings and the conversation not go the way I’d like, and then I’m in a negative mood that affects my productivity and the rest of my day.
When you’re a small business owner, you can’t allow things like that to get to you, despite human nature. We are leaders. Leaders don’t sweat the small stuff. Leaders create new ways of dealing with old problems for long-term success.
Just like you probably do, I have those bad days, so I dug deep and tried to distinguish ways that I can help myself be a better business owner and person in general. Here are 6 tips that I’ve found help me get through the workday as the best possible me.
- Get a Good Start – Spending just 15 minutes in your morning to put yourself in the right frame of mind and prepare for your day dramatically increases your productivity, focus, and attitude. I spend this time reading and getting my brain back online before my day starts. I’ve found that it’s much easier to maintain a positive attitude throughout the busy day if I make sure to start it right.
- Commute Smart – Many people waste the time they have in the car on the way to work eating, listening to music, grooming, etc. Make the most of the drive to work each day by using your time wisely. Try listening to something motivational to help you achieve and keep the positive mindset you need or listening to a leadership course, business-minded book, etc. I call it “Automobile University” and use this time to learn by listening to books or podcasts by some of my favorite authors and speakers.
- Smile! - If you’re using tricks #1 and #2, this one should be a breeze! If you’re not already in a positive place, just try smiling. I know it might sound silly, but research has shown that simply smiling can help reduce stress by releasing endorphins.
- Express Positivity – Think about the last time someone asked you how you were doing. You probably answered with an “I’m fine”. That’s not bad, that’s just what we’re programmed to say – and we can change that programming! Most people when asked a similar question will generally answer neutrally or negatively, saying “I’m hanging in here” or “I’m doing okay”. When we allow ourselves to self-talk in a negative way, we’ve already programmed to be negative. Next time someone asks you how you’re doing, answer back with an “I’m doing great!” or an “I’m having a wonderful day, and I hope you do too!” Not only will you be in a better mood, but you will have interrupted the pattern the other person’s used to. They will remember you as a happy person with positive interactions – the kind of person other successful people want to be around.
- Do Important Work First - Most people just complain about how much work they have to do, getting further behind while they could take action and do something about it. Do your most important work first (work you cannot delegate). As a small business owner, you know that there are things in your business that make you more and less money, things that are “time vampires”, and things that must be done even if not done by you. To increase productivity, delegate what you can and then plan your day so you finish the most important tasks first. Remember, “Eat the Frog.”
- End Your Day Well – After the busy workday, dedicate a block of time to doing things that you enjoy and that make you happy. This can be anything from spending time with family to church activities and more – whatever makes you happy and helps you get back to you. Then, finish your day the way you started. Read and regroup for 15 minutes at the end of your day before bed. Turn off the computer or your cell phone a bit earlier and get lost in a book. Rather than read something motivational like I do at the start of my day, I spend this time reading whatever I like and just relaxing.
Now, I know some of these might sound silly or are just common sense. However, the moment I listed these out and started making it a priority to live and work within these outlines, I found that I’m the best version of me I can be for myself, my family, friends, customers, and team.
These are simple tricks that can dramatically affect your attitude, workday, and even lifestyle. Try them out and let me know what you thin