You Are A Victim of the Rules You Live By

Katie Corbett holds the book "You are a Badass"

By Katie Corbett

 

Whether it is true or not, we make decisions based on assumptions we make and ideas we impose on ourselves. These rules can keep us from enjoying life and achieving at our highest potential.

 

This became apparent to me when I read, “You Are A badass,” by Jen Sincero. I decided to take some time and look at what rules I live by that hold me back. here’s what I discovered.

 

I catch myself thinking that networking takes a long time. The truth is that if you network efficiently and stay organized, it only need take five minutes a day.

 

I sometimes think that by reaching out to people, I am bothering them. Experience has taught me, though, that if I approach conversations with friendliness and a desire to get to know the other, nobody seems to mind.

 

I used to catch myself thinking that people don’t want to hear from me. I’ve realized that if I reach out and someone doesn’t want to hear from me, they won’t respond, and those who do want to connect with me will be happy to talk.

 

I sometimes think that I don’t know how to be curious. Asking questions is important to me, so I try to fall back on what I learned in journalism school to come up with good questions.

 

As you can see, changing these beliefs and ideas takes time and effort. Putting in this time and effort has paid off so far, and I plan to continue to do this important work.

 

Are you living by a rule that is holding you back? How are you working to change this? I’d love to know, so drop me a comment.

 

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Exposing The Risk of Decision-Making Based on Sunk Costs

Katie Corbett holds the book "2-Hour Job Search"

By Katie Corbett

 

Everything has a cost. Whether it is time, energy, or money, working on projects always involves expenditure of resources.

 

In “The 2-Hour Job Search,” by Steve Dalton, the dangers of sunk costs is discussed. The danger of counting those costs is that you might continue working on a project or working in a job that is no longer good for you because you have put so much time, energy, or money into it already. I’ve found these questions helpful so I don’t get stuck continuing to work on things merely due to sunk costs.

 

  • Does this project still excite me?
  • Do I enjoy working on it?
  • Does it still align with my purpose and goals?
  • Do I still get satisfaction from working on it?
  • Does it still make sense given overall trends?
  • Why should I consider quitting?
  • Could I place this project on temporary hold?
  • Is there another way I could do the same kind of work with a different project?
  • If I continued working on it, what would be the continued costs?
  • Does this project still bring joy to my life?

 

I used these questions to evaluate whether to continue working on my garment project. The answer I came to was that it would be better for me to discontinue that project in favor of working on things that better align with my current activities. I feel very at peace with my decision and am happy I stopped when I did. I’m glad I didn’t continue to move forward on something that no longer made sense, although I’ve put tons of energy, thousands of dollars, and countless hours into it already.

 

Do you have a project you decided to discontinue? How do you feel about that? I look forward to reading your story in the comments.

 

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Devotionals Can be For Business, Too

Katie Corbett headshot

By Katie Corbett

 

As you can probably tell if you’ve been reading my blog for some time now, I love plans. There are times, however, when I want some of the planning done for me. That’s why I’ve had a lot of success working with books that suggest an activity, thinking prompt, or mindset shift every day, week, month, or season.

 

Books like this are commonly associated with weight loss plans, religious practices, or building healthy money habits. It turns out, these books exist for business activities, too! Listen to this short audio about why I love books like this! Enjoy!

 

Manage Your Energy and Attention Rather Than Solely Managing Time

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Productivity Project."

By Katie Corbett

 

When people say they want to become more productive, they start by trying to manage their time. While this can be a good thing to do, I have found it helpful to instead think about two additional resources: energy and attention.

 

I first read about the ideas of managing energy and attention in “The Productivity Project” by Chris Bailey. He points out that energy and attention, like time, are not infinite. They are also unique to you, while everyone has the same amount of time in a day. Here is what I learned by paying attention to my energy and attention levels.

 

  • By tracking my energy, I could see patterns in fluctuation.
  • By taking regular breaks, I could stretch out the amount of time that my energy was focused.
  • By focusing on energy rather than time, I noticed that I was prioritizing tasks based on what my energy levels were like rather than how long I thought the task would take. As a result, I got things done a lot faster since I tried to do them when I had the most energy.
  • I learned that there are two different types of energy: creative and strategic. I rely on these different types depending on what task I plan to do.
  • By writing down my energy levels throughout the day, I learned that I’m strategic in the morning and creative in the afternoon. This has helped me manage the different types of tasks I need to do throughout the day, since some rely on strategic energy and others need my powers of creativity.
  • I can tell when my energy is waning so I now have a cut-off point at the end of the day. This helps me realize that I can relax and that I would not be productive if I continued working.

 

I encourage you to track your energy and attention levels throughout the day. Make note of when you feel the most energetic, and of what kind of energy it is. I strongly suggest tracking for at least a week, and abstaining from caffeine and other substances that could skew the results.

 

What do you notice about yourself and your work as you record your energy levels? Did you find anything that surprised you? Let me know in the comments.

 

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Identify Your Highest Impact Tasks and Do Them First

By Katie Corbett

 

With all there is to do in a day, it can be easy to spend time doing little things that get you nowhere. As I was learning about productivity, I learned that weeding these small tasks out and focusing on those that make the largest impact is the quickest route to success.

 

In the book “The Productivity Project”, by Chris Bailey, focusing on your highest impact activities is of utmost importance. As I was starting my writing business, I thought about what my unique talents were and how I could make the most of my time.

 

As I was preparing writing projects, I realized that I disliked editing. I found it tedious and it took me a long time. On the other hand, I loved networking, interviewing, and putting the initial story together. I decided right then and there that editing was not a high-yield task for me.

 

I reached out to a few friends in my network in hopes of finding a copyeditor. The one I found is worth her weight in gold. She is truly gifted at editing and proofreading. My pieces are so much more cohesive once she has worked on them. And I have all the time I need to interview, prospect, and write.

 

What low-impact tasks are you wasting time on? How can you stop wasting time and start doing what you are good at? Who do you need in your life to make that happen?

 

Are you committed to letting go of tasks that don’t serve you and focusing on the ones that give you the most value? I would love to hear how it goes, so leave me a comment.

 

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The Ultimate Success Tip: Give Them What They Want

Katie Corbett holds the book "Free Marketing"

By Katie Corbett

 

I have been publishing content on this blog for almost three years, and have been posting regularly on LinkedIn for almost one. You may wonder how I keep coming up with new content. It hasn’t been as difficult as one might think.

 

I saw an idea in “Free Marketing,” by Jim Cockrum, that sums up the strategy I use: Give People What They Want. I figure this out by asking questions and paying attention to the questions I am asked. Here is a list of methods I use to capture those ideas. Pick your favorite and try it:

 

  1. Have a specific file where you write down frequently asked questions.
  2. Keep a piece of paper handy when you are on networking calls.
  3. When you think of questions you have been asked, write them down right away.
  4. Make a point to ask people what questions they have for you.
  5. If you’re in a larger group, pay attention to the questions others have throughout the conversation.
  6. Talk with others in your field; sometimes in the discussions, you might find out questions they are regularly asked.

 

Taking the time to learn what people are interested in knowing more about, whether you are blogging to promote a business or just because it’s fun, will give you endless content ideas. I hope you find a wellspring of ideas, as I have.

 

Even if you are working a job and don’t run a blog at all, keeping track of the questions people ask is beneficial. It will help you anticipate questions and answer them in advance, which is sure to impress the boss. At the very least, having answers prepared will show you take your work seriously.

 

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