Last week we talked about specific productivity hacks to help you get more done during your workday. So this week we’re going to talk about the mindset that goes along with it.
Because as you’ve probably figured out, planning in advance, focusing on the priority tasks, time blocking your day isn’t always enough.
Our minds like to get in the way, slow us down, tell us crazy things about why we can’t or shouldn’t do it.
Here are 4 mindset shifts to work on that will make sticking to your to-do list and your deadlines easier.
1 ➜ Allow yourself to be imperfect
We’ll start with one I’ve had to deal with the most myself. I was the person adjusting the placement of a logo pixel by pixel, re-reading my Instagram caption for the 15th time and still changing just one more word, holding off on an idea because I couldn’t find evidence of it being done before.
I was waiting and editing and researching and trying to get it perfect the first time I hit publish instead of making decisions quickly, letting it be damn good, and allowing myself to learn along the way and do things imperfectly.
The thing is – getting it perfect takes a lot of time.
We spend too much time thinking about our idea to make sure there are no other better options. We spend too much time researching what others have done, comparing our idea to make sure it’s different enough and better. And then once we’ve decided to go ahead we spend too much time editing and editing and editing.
This can mean the difference between posting five days a week and one. Between showing up on stories every day or once/month. Between launching your product next month or next year or even never.
And it can mean the difference between $1k months and $10k months.
We waste so much time trying to get it perfect the first time, instead of making quick decisions, and learning as we go.
As a solopreneur time is seriously money and the idea of wasting days or weeks on the wrong project is terrifying to us perfectionists. But we’re somehow not afraid of wasting the same amount of time planning and perfecting everything.
Part of the problem is trying to fit into the Instagram mold, the solopreneur mold, the coach mold. The white desk and the green juice, the photogenic family, the digital nomad life.
Following what we see being approved of and applauded online when it isn’t what we really want for our lives at all.
And part of it is trying to get it perfect before we post to make sure no one can find an error or has any criticism. But that’s never fool proof so working toward a mindset of being comfortable with imperfection is so important.
2 ➜ Trust that you can complete the task
The second mindset shift is learning to trust that if you say yes to a collaboration, that if you add something to your to-do list, that if you set a deadline you’ll do the work and make it happen.
Because we’re the boss and in charge of everything that happens in our business we don’t always have someone holding us accountable which means we can push tasks and deadlines as much as we want.
I’ll do that instagram post tomorrow.
I’ll start that book next week.
I’ll launch that challenge next month.
Two things happen with this:
1 – We avoid setting public deadlines like announcing a webinar or a product launch because we know that if we announce a deadline then we have to stick to it. But if we haven’t been able to stick to small deadlines how can we trust ourselves with the big things?
2 – It disintegrates trust in our own ability to make things happen.
If I can’t post to Instagram consistently, if I can’t finish my podcast episode every week, if it takes me eight weeks to finish an email sequence instead of one then how can I trust myself to follow through on my commitment to clients, students, and my audience? How can I commit to a collaboration or working through a course?
Luckily you can build trust with yourself with every action you take.
I’m going to post on Instagram today.
I’m going to take a walk around the block.
I’m going to take a break and pay outside with the kids.
It’s not just about your work tasks, but following through on every task in your day. Telling yourself, and maybe your audience what you’re going to do and then following through.
Little tasks build to bigger tasks, which build to you trusting yourself to post consistently, taking on big client projects, raising your prices or launching that big scary course.
3 ➜ Trust that your goals are attainable
If you’re making $2k/month and you want to make $20k that’s a pretty big leap. Doable – but challenging.
But because it’s hard to imagine all the steps it takes from where you are to where you want to be it can be difficult to trust that it’s even possible for you.
It’s like prepping to run a marathon and trying feel confident that you’ll make it to the end when you’ve only run five miles at one time. It can be difficult to even imagine what it would feel like at mile 24, 25, or 26.
But if you go from five miles, to 10, to 15, to 20 then getting up to that 26.2 goal actually feels possible.
Likewise you can go for $20k months, but when you make your plan, focus on the next step, not taking a magical elevator ride to the top.
Which part of your $2k strategy is working and how can you double down on that to get to $5k months? Everything you learn from 2k to 5k will prepare you to go from 5k to 10k.
The more you’re able to knock out goals – whether it’s a small goal like posting 3x every week or a larger one like writing an ebook, the more your confidence and trust in yourself will grow and the more you’ll trust that your big, scary goals are within reach.
4 ➜ Trust that what you do is needed
This is a big one! How many times do you look outside your work taking peek into what others are doing and wonder if anyone actually needs what you offer? If anyone cares about your experience? If what you do is even needed?
This is actually one of the toughest barriers to showing up and leveling up because when we believe what we’re doing isn’t really helping anyone we allow ourselves to play small.
One of the best ways I’ve found to cultivate a mindset of necessity is to get to know my audience and my students. And the best way I’ve found to do that is through my group coaching program.
It takes time to connect with someone and truly understand where they’re struggling and how you, your products, or services can help. Being able to speak to women every single week, multiple times each week and learn their stories, where they’re getting stuck, and what they are working toward makes me feel confident that my expertise is needed.
When I left my corporate job the last thing I wanted was to host meetings but it’s actually become the best part of my business and the best part of my week. You can send out all the surveys you want, ask all the questions on Instagram, post all the polls, but creating a container that allows people to speak openly and share makes a huge difference.
Now when I go to write podcast episodes, Instagram captions, or decide what lessons to include in my courses I’m thinking about a specific person that I have worked with.
And I’ve learned through speaking with them why my style of teaching works for them, why they appreciate the groups of women I bring together, and why they benefit from the way I coach and teach.
This helps me continuous cultivate a mindset that what I do is needed. And if it’s needed then I have endless reasons to keep showing up, to do it imperfectly, to stick to my deadlines, and go for the big goals because if I win big my students win even bigger.
And so my challenge to you is – post it when it’s pretty damn good (your audience will ask questions to fill in the gaps), put in the work to learn that you can depend on yourself and trust your decisions, focus on the next step in your business and trust that it’s possible for you, and connect with your audience so you always know who you’re creating for and never question the necessity and importance of your work.