When my friends come to me for advice and I give it to them, I often hear:
- Oh, that won’t work because…
- I tried something like that once…
- I don’t have enough time! (my personal favorite!)
Despite my frustration, I am the first to admit that just like them, I can rationalize and find an excuse for anything I don’t want to do.
Like most people, I’m only ready to change when there’s a good enough reason to do so.
Whether I’m motivated by avoiding pain or achieving a goal, the best way I found to overcome self-sabotage is to clean house. Literally.
And that gets me to today’s topic:
A lot of readers and clients ask me how I started Aligned Holistics. These readers fall into two camps:
- They want to know all the juicy details of how I healed my Depression, managed my ADHD, etc.
- They want to pursue a goal (like a business), but can’t seem to find the time to make it happen.
The truth is that to some degree, the two go hand-in-hand. See, a lot of creating a life I love (& getting off the meds!) was creating systems that supported the life I want and business I wanted to create. Whether it be self-care, organization, or time management, I needed to create structure to get out of my own way and let the magic happen.
I could write an entire book on how to start a business doing what you love, but chances are you need the tools that will give you the biggest results in the smallest amount of time. When it comes to starting a business you love, here are:
The 3 Simplest Changes that Create The Biggest Results
1. Organize Your Space
Back when my ADHD was running the show, I spent way too much time sorting through papers, looking for keys, and getting distracted by items strewn on my countertop. My disorganized space led to a pervasive low-level anxiety that made my home a stressful work environment. Not surprisingly, with all the reminders of things that needed to be put away (without a place to put them), I didn’t get much done. So I met with an ADHD coach (yes, even coaches need coaches) and here’s what she told me:
Where to start: Create an exit station. Located near your door, this centralized location should house your keys, sunglasses, wallet, mail, gym pass, etc. It should be home to everything you’d grab on your way out the door. I also use it to post affirmations or intentions so I have a positive note to start my day.
2. Throw Things Out
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating until you get rid of that sweater you haven’t worn in a year, the papers you could’ve scanned and recycled, and the broken belt that you swear you’ll get fixed but haven’t yet. If it’s taking up space in your home, it’s taking up space in your mind. For many years I held onto things for “sentimental value.” And then I realized that the item is not the same as what it represents. For example, last week I got a thoughtful card from a friend. Today I threw it out. That doesn’t mean that I don’t value the person who sent it to me, it just means that NYC real-estate is at a premium and so is my mental capacity. To make this easier (and eliminate any guilt you may feel), snap a picture with your phone before you toss it.
Where to start: If you haven’t used it in the past year, throw it out.
3. Pick Three Wins
If I could give any piece of advice to my fellow entrepreneurs, it would be this: Pick the three things you MUST accomplish for the day and prioritize them. When I work with my 1-on-1 clients, I’m often asked, “But how do I know which three to pick? Why only three?” Since my clients and I set goals together, I respond by teaching them to filter their actions by looking at their to-do list and saying “Will this action get me closer to or further from my goal?”
I always say start with three small wins. Anything you do after that is extra credit.
Where to start: Each morning, complete the following sentence, “If I only get these three things done, I’ll feel good about what I accomplished today.” Then, do them!
Want the Tools & Systems to Reclaim Your Time and Energy? Check out Amita’s Free Training “Take Back Your Time”.
Amita Patel is the founder of Aligned Holistics; a coaching services company that provides clients with the clarity, confidence, and customized tools to create lasting change. An expert in motivation, strategy, and human behavior, Amita’s approach is empowering, collaborative, and cutting-edge. Amita holds a Masters Degree from New York University and is currently completing her LMSW. She has been featured on CBS, NBC, the Huffington Post, Fast Company, and MindBodyGreen. If you’re ready to work smarter (and not harder), Download your free copy of Focus Now: 15 Tips To Get More Done in Less Time. You can find more information on her website, or follow her on Twitter or FB.