Dear Progress Journal,
Today I woke up, trained in the gym, had some breakfast, and went to work.
It seems like a normal day, but 3 of those took practice to get into the habit. For example, I never ate breakfast growing up and only learned to late in college. This means that I've over 2 decades of my life having lunch as my first meal of the day.
I also grew up with a sedentary lifestyle full of video games and junk food. Any fibre of athleticism was muted by lethargy and self-defeat. Always the night owl, waking up early was a task, though I'm no longer a slave to caffeine anymore (that being said, suffering through the withdrawal symptoms was indeed a trip to hell and back).
Various circumstances caused these habits to form. Consistency and practice make it possible to not need a "To-Do" list for these habits of my life. I think I lead a pretty stable, happy, and healthy lifestyle, aside from the fried chicken binging now and again. These days, I don't think twice about these habits that used to be a traumatizing experience (particularly the waking up early part).
What I need now is a To-Don't list. A list of things that I catch myself doing, that I probably shouldn't if I wanted to progress with Flying Solo Gear Co. Of course, this is a list to myself, but perhaps others will feel the same way.
My Daily To-Don't List
1) Don't put off meeting with friends.
I've been meaning to catch up with so many people, especially after coming back from holiday. Why is it, then, that it's suddenly the middle of February and all I've seen was my laptop screen? It's not that I intend on avoiding people, but for some reason, meeting "sometime next week" sounds more attractive than "meeting tonight after work". Time to pull up my socks on this one.
2) Don't sweat the small stuff.
Now, I'm not sure about you, but every time I have a tiny task at hand, I tend to try to perfect it until it's just right. If it isn't right, I'd stress over making it right. For example, I needed to photoshop a new Facebook profile photo for the page that had a little santa hat on the logo. How long should it have taken? 3 minutes. How long did it take? You don't want to know. And yet I do this all the time. Can anyone else relate?
3a) Don't leave emails unanswered.
From potential suppliers to stockists to customers, everything is an opportunity. It takes a few seconds to a couple of minutes to write a response, so why put it off? Emails are timely, and they can often lead to a whole new world not considered before.
3b) Don't answer emails before 10am.
Even those pre-takeoff demonstrations say that you need to take care of yourself before taking care of others. Leaving my morning to eat well, train hard, and get my personal day sorted will give me enough energy to take on the world for the rest of the day. You have to figure out a schedule that works for you, as long as you leave time to take care of yourself.
4) Don't look for new and shiny ventures without working hard at the existing ones.
This is especially so when stock is moving slowly and motivation is dwindling. The go-to is usually to start considering other options before looking at bettering things you've already started. That's why the Ashvault Backpack has taken me so long to get into. It was a daunting task to get the ball rolling, but now that it is, I'm glad I stuck with it for so long.
5) Don't waste time on people who try to be more than a distraction.
In the quest for success, I don't have time to figure someone's true motives. I used to care more about what people think of me, but their thoughts don't pay the bills or help progress the business, so why pay attention to them? Luckily, I have more supporters than not, and most have been simply brilliant in furthering Flying Solo Gear Co. I like to think that everyone is a good person until proven otherwise. But when they do prove otherwise, I don't block them, I simply don't engage with them anymore. They're a distraction and nothing more.
6) Don't forget to count your blessings (and accomplishments).
There might be such thing as congratulating yourself too often, but more often than not, people do the opposite. Ambitious people tend not to focus on what they've just done, but instead only on what they intend to do. As a result, it seems like nothing is ever good enough. Every day when I shower, I'm going to reflect on the things that progressed the business forward - even if it's something as simple as buying office supplies. New printer ink = winning!
7) Don't try to be someone you're not.
I'm one of those extreme-yet-functional introverts who, if given the choice, would rather be in a blanket cocoon for weeks at a time instead of see actual physical people ... in person. Most would say this isn't very sustainable. Every day, I catch myself trying to be this super chirpy, huggy, high-pitched version of me and it's not right. In the world of customer service it seems that my natural voice goes up by a few octaves. Going forward, I'm happy just being genuine and true to myself. It's the best gift you can give yourself, isn't it?
What else should I add in here? What would you put on your To-Don't list?