Digging into the nitty gritty psychology about elevating and maximizing performance in business has been my obsession for years!
There are so many little tools I’ve learned over the years that I love. For example...
Keeping a mirror nearby when on the phone, because you’re reminded to smile and see an actual face so you feel like you’re talking to someone.
Standing up and walking around when you’re on the phone, because your brain operates faster and you respond more quickly than when you’re sitting at a desk.
There are all kinds of amazing, psychological hacks that are out there that I’ve learned. So I wanted to set out the three most important psychological hacks I can give business owners to elevate their performance in order to create better business growth.
Hack #1: Time Blocking/No Multi-Tasking
This hack has two parts. Block your time and stop multitasking.
I learned this years ago when I was trying to become a better multitasker and realized it never actually helped me perform any better. So I quit multitasking and started using the Flow State.
The Flow State:
When an individual is operating at peak capacity on a project because they are plugged into their surroundings and what they are doing.
There’s some crazy research going on with the Flow State, and it’s awesome!
Once you’re in the Flow State, you’re making decisions faster and handling all aspects of your project more quickly. What they’re discovering is that it takes up to 15 minutes to get back into the Flow State once you’ve been pulled out of it. But once you’ve spent 15 minutes working into the flow state on a project, productivity skyrockets.
Multitasking takes us out of the Flow State because multitasking is all about being able to jump from one project to handling something else and then coming back to the same project. The challenge with multitasking, is that your brain is in a thousand different places and can’t focus well (Check out our recent video, featuring Dana Pharant, to learn why your brain needs to focus on one task at a time).
Essentially, multitasking is opposite to the Flow State because…
The Flow State is all about keeping you in one project and getting you to a place where you’re so involved in the project that you’re handling it more quickly, making better, smarter decisions, fewer (if any) mistakes, and operating at your absolute peak.
Whereas multitasking is about breaking up your flow and handling every other little thing that comes up while you’re also trying to finish one project.
Here’s where time blocking comes in.
When you break your day down, you only get thirty-two 15-minute chunks in an 8-hour work day or sixteen half-hour chunks.
Time blocking is helpful for maximizing your time’s efficiency through the Flow State. If you can eliminate multitasking by focusing on time-blocking, you’ll find that you’re much more productive in the time you spend working in time blocks. And if you need time to handle emergencies or unexpected things (like all business owners do!), put together a time-block for that too!
You’re probably cringing reading this because most business owners have tried time blocking with varying levels of success. Let me encourage you with this…
Remember that time blocking is a muscle: something you build into your habits over time, and not something you can just snap on and off.
If you’re just starting on time blocking and you find yourself getting distracted at times, that’s ok! Keep drawing yourself back to what you’ve blocked the time off for and eventually you’ll find you’re able to work in longer spurts.
It’s like going to the gym.
You wouldn’t expect to go to the gym and be able to deadlift 100 lbs on your first day, you’d start with smaller weights and work up to the bigger ones. With time blocking, you don’t start by blocking off two hours to work on one project.
Start with smaller chunks of time, practice every day, and slowly increase the amount of time as you get used to working in time blocks and the Flow State.
Hack #2: Design Your Surroundings to Inspire
Whatever inspiration means to you, make sure it surrounds you.
The fun thing about being human is that each and every one of us is different. E. G., The perfect morning routine doesn’t exist because we all have a different routine that works best for us.
Obviously, there are going to be things that remain the same based on the fact that we are all human. Things like gratitude and planning the day are across the board good things to have in anyone’s morning routine, but the way the whole routine looks is going to vary from person to person.
So when it comes to your work space, it’s important to find what works for and inspires you.
Sometimes it’s challenging to pinpoint our perfect work environment because we all grew up in different spaces and have different motivators for each day. We have different spaces we feel most comfortable and creative in, so this hack is all about creating the right kind of space for you.
For example, I love open spaces! I’m from Texas and we love our big open space, and I discovered that I work best having an expansive environment to work in. So I’ve been clearing out a little more of the clutter on my desk every day, because it adds back up consistently, and I keep a big open room nearby so I feel like I have space. Having a big open space and clearing out the clutter on my desk helps me get into a good working zone and inspires me to go to the next level because I’m physically in a place that makes me confident.
Find the space that works for you.
Experiment around to find what feels right. You might hate open spaces, and that’s fine. Maybe you need to create a space with a cozier, warmer feel. But whatever kind of space you feel most productive in, create that space to psychologically trigger the relaxed and productive working state.
Hack #3: Truly Rest
This one is definitely the hardest one for me, and has taken me the longest to learn. But it is my personal favorite!
And when I say truly rest, I mean getting to Clear Glass with your Emotional Quotient.
Your EQ (Emotional Quotient) is all about understanding emotions and handling them in the best way possible. It’s a phenomenal tool for understanding and improving sales.
A few years ago I had someone recommend that I research the concept of EQ because it was discovered that sales people perform better when they have higher EQs. At the time, I was doing most of the sales for Grow Disrupt so I plugged into it.
What I discovered is that operating at the peak EQ level (Clear Glass Mode, as it is called in EQ speak) requires taking time to truly rest. And no, I’m not talking about bubble baths, chocolates, and glasses of wine. Taking time to truly rest is taking time to do the things you enjoy and that give you energy. It might be pampering yourself with bubble baths and the like, but it might not and for me it wasn’t.
I had to learn to enjoy different things about life again, so that I could turn to those hobbies and be rejuvenated by them. But it isn’t just a preventative measure!
Resting isn’t just to avoid a meltdown
I think a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with the idea of resting, relaxing, and rejuvenating ourselves. I know I do.
So many people tell entrepreneurs that if we don’t rest, we’ll burn ourselves out and have meltdowns and breakdowns. Which can be true, but resting is about more than avoiding a meltdown. It’s about getting you to your peak level. If you’re just constantly just trying to prevent a meltdown, you’re not going to be able to think clearly enough to grow your business. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll push until you’re near a meltdown, take some rest, and go back to pushing just as hard as before so you never have a full-blown meltdown, but you’re never getting to a healthy place.
What I realized was that I wasn’t melting down, but I wasn’t able to perform at my highest level either. Resting is about giving yourself space to perform at your peak EQ level.
When you perform at your peak EQ level, you have the ability to attract sales to your company, inspire your team to greater heights, and accomplish more in less time!
I’m gonna wrap up by jumping on my soap box real quick…
The “entrepreneur” culture always seems to be about pushing harder and harder. Flaunting activities like 20 hour work days and a lack of weekends. And it has to stop!
Is that kind of thing normal at the start of a business? Yes, getting a business off the ground is hard work and the initial phase usually exists inside the “doing what others won’t do today, to live like others can’t tomorrow” world.
But business owners need to stop believing that they have to be killing themselves to have a successful business. It’s not healthy. Even if it feels satisfying to think about pulling longer days than other people, it damages businesses when the business owner is constantly working 20 hour days or working through the weekend.
It damages your company, your profit margins, and your employees when you can’t take time off to get to a clear headspace.
There is no badge of honor for the people not taking vacation this year. So cut yourself some slack and find a hobby to invest in that you love and that will rejuvenate you.
OK, I’ll get off my soapbox now.
I want to conclude this article by telling you how amazing you are. You started a business! That is incredible! And you are leaving legacies and creating impacts that you might not ever find out about.
So go out there and keep going at it! Because you are phenomenal!
OK, one last thing…
If you’re struggling in your business and need or want a leg-up so that you grow your business next year, check out the 5 minute scholarship application for Grow2021! My team has been begging me for years to pull together a way for people who can’t afford the full Grow Retreat to gain access to the strategies that are catapulting businesses into growth mode, and we’ve finally found a way to offer that to people. These scholarships are full-ride scholarships to the Grow Retreat livestream, and applications close on January 4th so make sure you apply soon!
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