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!

 

Kick Someday Syndrome, Once and For All

Katie Corbett holds the book "One Month to Live"

By Katie Corbett

 

Procrastination can be tempting. It can be easy to sit back and do nothing rather than do what the best version of yourself wants to be doing. Unfortunately, procrastination won’t get you any closer to achieving your dreams, and it can hold you back for years.

 

I read “One Month to Live,” by Chris Shook, at a time when I was leaving a relationship and had a lot of career options to consider. I was feeling nervous, disappointed and hopeful, all at once. It would have been easy to wallow in my emotions. In the book, I read about kicking Someday Syndrome and decided to embrace what I needed to do. Here are some of the benefits I noticed of doing things today; not someday.

 

  • I felt more accomplished.
  • I checked a lot off my to-do list.
  • I didn’t feel lazy or like I was wasting time.
  • I could focus on the future, rather than the past.
  • Taking action was refreshing.
  • I didn’t have time to wallow in unhelpful emotions.
  • I was accomplishing my dreams and improving my life in spite of negative and uncertain circumstances.
  • I could relax at the end of the day knowing I had gotten a lot done.
  • Although I was unemployed at the time, I felt productive.
  • I stopped relying on excuses and found it was faster to take action.

 

If you are looking to beat procrastination and kick Someday Syndrome into the past, I recommend doing the first thing you need to do to get started. That could be as easy as turning on the computer, cleaning off your dresser, or making a list and a plan to tackle one thing at a time.

 

What projects are you motivated to begin? Leave a comment and let me know. Cheers to you and your success!

 

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How My Tendency Supports Me in Business and Following my Dreams

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Four Tendencies"

By Katie Corbett

 

As you might imagine, I find being an Upholder to be helpful in business. I would also argue that the knowledge that I’m an Upholder is more helpful than the tendency itself. I’ll explain what I mean by this below.

 

I read “The Four Tendencies,” by Gretchen Rubin, as I was beginning to build my business. These are some ways in which the knowledge about my tendency has helped me:

 

  • I try to prioritize the things I need to get done, since it can be easy to see all tasks as equally important.
  • I now have the confidence to know that things will get done eventually, even if it is not as soon as I might like.
  • I have learned to rely on metrics to decide what to continue doing, since it can be easy for me to continue doing something that doesn’t have the largest return on investment, simply because I have made it a habit.
  • I have learned to appreciate others who follow through, especially since I now realize how rare that is.
  • I have learned that having a more Type A personality means it is vital to take time away from work to relax and have fun.

 

If you would like to discover how your tendency can support you in business, and discover how it can help you achieve your dreams, I encourage you to read Gretchen Rubin’s book and take her test. It will only take a few minutes to realize the ways in which you make the world a better place.

 

What is your tendency? Are you an Upholder like me, or are you an Obligor, Questioner, or Rebel? Leave your answer in the comments.

 

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Looking for a Productivity Boost? Get in Touch with Your Future Self

By Katie Corbett

 

Procrastination. It is something each of us has considered at some point in our lives. It can be especially tempting if we are feeling anxiety or discomfort about a task ahead.

 

I used to procrastinate a lot more, until I read “The Productivity Project,” by Chris Bailey. The book suggests thinking about how your future self would feel if you failed to act now.

 

I once had a lot to get done to prepare for a meeting. I wanted to take the morning to relax and prepare that afternoon. I pictured my future self heading to the meeting the next day. If I didn’t get my preparations done that afternoon, I knew I would need to rush the next morning to finish all that I had to do. I pictured my future self scrambling to prep, and thought about how stressed I would be if I didn’t act now. I then considered how relaxed I would be if I did all that I needed to do in the present instead of wasting time procrastinating. As a result, I ended up working on the tasks I needed to complete before the afternoon rolled around, and they didn’t take me as long to do as I had thought. I had the chance to relax later that day, and I went into my meeting the next morning feeling prepared and confident.

 

Whenever I feel like procrastinating, I think about what I would be doing in the future, and how I’ll feel in the future if I don’t do something that I could handle in the present. Here are some questions to help with motivation as you picture your future self.

 

  • What will your future self need to do if you fail to act now?
  • How do you suspect your future self will feel about that?
  • Do you think your future self will wish that you had gotten the tasks done sooner?
  • How will your future self feel if you do everything you need to do now?
  • Will your future self be proud of your present self if you act now?

 

These are just a few questions to get you thinking. I hope they help you accomplish all that you wish to do without giving into the temptation to procrastinate.

 

I’d love to hear what you are working on and what projects you want to start soon. Have you found a hack to beat procrastination? Feel free to drop me a comment.

 

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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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Find Your Renaissance Soul Focal Points

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Renaissance Soul"

By Katie Corbett

 

If you, like me, have discovered you are a person who enjoys many pursuits, you might wonder how to move forward. You may worry about getting bored, about not finishing what you started, about being unsure where to go and what to do next.

 

In “The Renaissance Soul,” by Margaret Lobenstine, it is suggested to determine the areas of life that are most important to you. The book calls these Renaissance Soul Focal Points. I have found it helpful to identify about four. Here are some questions I used to identify mine:

 

  1. How do you want to spend your time?
  2. What do you enjoy doing that you could do for hours if not interrupted?
  3. What do you want to accomplish in your life?
  4. What would you be willing to prioritize over other things?
  5. What do you want to learn?
  6. Within the next three months, what do you want to accomplish?
  7. In what areas of life do you put in effort without trying?
  8. What have you been meaning to do that you have kept putting off till “someday”?
  9. What do you wish you could spend more time doing?
  10. In what areas of life do you want to improve?

 

By answering these questions, I was able to figure out that my Focal Points are: my marriage, my business, reading fiction and learning new things. I’ve been spending quality time with my husband, I’ve recently launched a referral program for my freelance writing business, I read all seven Harry Potter books and I’m taking a course to learn how to get more proficient at mental math.

 

Answer these questions for yourself to determine the areas of life that are important to you. The activities you do will change from week to week and from month to month, though your Focal Points will likely stay the same for at least a few years.

 

Is there a question you found particularly helpful? Let me know in the comments.

 

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How to Track your 12-Week Year Progress

Katie Corbett holds the book "The 12-Week Year"

By Katie Corbett

Tracking progress is important. If you don’t, it can be easy to get caught up with all the little items that need to get done and you could lose sight of the progress you made on accomplishing your big goals.

Tracking is an important aspect of “The 12-Week Year,” by Brian Moran. He says that you can consider your week a success if you complete 85% of the important tasks on your list.

I track my 12-Week Year projects at the end of each day by writing in a small notebook set aside specifically for that purpose. The way you track could look quite different. Here are some ideas:

• You could get a calendar and put stars on the days you accomplished your 12-Week Year goals.
• You could record notes about your progress on a spreadsheet.
• If you want a portable tracking option, you could make notes on your phone.
• You could create a paper chain with links for each day or week, and tear off a link right after you did your important actions for that day or week.
• You could set aside a certain amount of money, say, a dollar, each time you complete an important task on your list, then reward yourself with something special once the 12-Week Year is over. (If you set aside a dollar each day, you would have $84 at the end.)

No matter how you track, it is critical to remember to do it consistently. After all, if you skip a day or forget to mark your progress, you will have little perspective about whether you are truly meeting your goals.

Try one of these tracking ideas, or, if you’re feeling creative, come up with your own. If you find something that works for you, I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to leave me a comment.

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