I have started spring cleaning my brain recently. I do this by mentally stepping back from my daily tasks, goals and checklists and taking some time to observe them. This allows me to question if the things I am spending time on truly are worth it and then lets me reprioritize accordingly.
This is an important practice to do personally and professionally. We often find ourselves spending too much time on things that don’t actually matter, simply because we haven’t taken a moment to do some mental spring cleaning.
I determine if something is worth my time by asking myself a few questions:
- Does it help accomplish the mission? If you don’t have a clear mission statement and clear goals that help you accomplish your mission, your first mental spring cleaning session should involve creating those things for yourself, personally and professionally. Simon Sinek has a great TED Talk titled “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” that can help you get started.
- Am I spending the appropriate amount of time on the right things? Am I spending the majority of my time on things that have the highest likelihood of accomplishing the mission? Am I delegating the things that someone else should be doing? Are there things that I should just stop doing altogether?
- Am I in control of my time or am I allowing my time to be controlled by what is around me? Do I plan my day or react to it?
- If I am reacting instead of planning, how can I fix that?
It is very easy to get caught up in putting out fires, answering emails and doing things someone else has asked you to do instead of planning what needs to be done and doing that without getting sidetracked. What safeguards can you put in place to ensure you won’t focus on things that easily can distract you and rob you of your day?
If you have a hard time with these questions, ask those who know you best for help. They can give you insights you might not have considered. Having authentic connections with people, personally and professionally, is an important key to building your business.
One last question: Do you have authentic connections with those around you and prioritize those connections correctly?
This might be uncomfortable and hard work, especially if you never have done it before. It’s OK. You are a smart and capable person, and I know you can do this. But if you need help, come to one of our Acworth Business Association events, and we can help you get started. It’s what we are all about.
– Kelly Nagel is president of the Acworth Business Association. She is the chief marketing officer and “bagel tester” for Nagel’s Bagels.