I hear a lot of different ideas about success from a lot of different people from all across the business spectrum: tech, finance, writing… you name it. Everyone has their own idea of what it means to succeed and how to get there. But some of the most obvious paths to success are often ignored – even though they’re super easy to accomplish, in theory.
In my own business, I’ve attempted and used a few specific tactics to make my workdays much more seamless. These practices have also helped me to better stay on task and allow me, myself, and I “to do the day” so it doesn’t do me.
1. Unsubscribe from pretty much everything.
I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out that one of the best gifts I can give myself at work is to hit those tiny letters at the bottom of every email that say: “Unsubscribe”. You know, the 6 font letters that are trying to hide from you.
Whether you enjoy new products from Target or updates from your local animal shelter, EVERY ONE AND THEIR MOM is vying for your attention. The main way they get there – your email and then your heart.
2. Close your inbox.
Yep, you heard me. That seemingly tiny tab at the top of your screen might be keeping you from actually getting work done. Just now, I closed my inbox so I could better concentrate on writing this article!
Remember the first practice we talked about? It’s pretty much the same thing – put it away so you can do what you’ve set out to do and not be distracted by everyone and everything trying to get you to do so many other things you don’t need to be doing when you’re working.
3. Put your phone away! (Or at least on silent).
During working hours, I’ve tried my best to put my phone on silent and away from my immediate workspace. This makes it 100% easier to get work done, go figure. I don’t feel the need to pick it up because it’s in front of me (I’ve kind of become Pavlov’s dog when it comes to this and I hate it! #workinprogress). However, I’m slowly but surely getting used to intentionally putting it out of reach and I’m beginning to really like it that way.
4. Set timers for important events and tasks.
This has saved me so many times! I’m a bit embarrassed at how easy it is for me to forget pretty much anything, but when I set timers for things I HAVE to do in a timely manner, I can erase that task or thing from my mind and allow my phone to tell me when to stop what I’m doing, get up, and do the thing.
I think this practice works in two ways 1. It allows you the option and brain space to say “no, not now” and 2. It takes away the stress of watching the clock every minute, allowing you to get more conscious work done.
5. Ditch the celebrities on Instagram and connect with people on LinkedIn.
This is either going to resonate with a lot of you or hurt your feelings. I’m fine with either because it needs to be said and I need to take my own advice.
It’s time to stop relying on high paid celebrities on Instagram for entertainment and inspiration and start reaching out to people you might actually like to meet and work with in real life.
I’ve had a dumb relationship with Instagram for a while now and I always find myself following the lives of celebrities because I’m curious about how their move went or if their animals are ok after that storm… honestly, y’all. What. The. Hell is wrong with us.
I think it’s time to recognize apps like Instagram for what they are: if they aren’t necessary for you to sell your products or services (which is totally legit), get rid of them. The Instagram rabbit holes are long and very rarely bring us to productive places.
On the other hand, LinkedIn is one of the most valuable and accessible resources we have for making connections that could actually benefit our businesses.
One of the best ways to be successful, or at least on your way to more success in your business, is to talk to people who work in the same field as you or close to it.
I spend a lot of time reaching out to creative directors, producers, etc. on LinkedIn, and while this is a newly formed habit for me, I have had some pretty awesome conversations with people and even gotten a really neat job sent to me randomly by connecting to different people on there.
Another thing to note, before or after you connect, be sure to “Follow” their business or company. That way, you can keep up with what they post by commenting or sharing their content you find interesting. It’s an easy way to learn new things and build relationships with people across the globe.
Some of these things aren’t fun to think about, but after a bit of practice, you’ll be glad you started implementing them.