Three Steps to Stop Doing Stupid Stuff when You Should be Working

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 3.25.07 PMOne of the biggest challenges you face as a business owner—especially when you have ADHD—is spending your time well. Time is a non-renewable resource: once you use it up, it’s gone.

This is a big problem, because how you spend that time definitely impacts the success of your business and how much money you make. It can also make you feel awful if you aren’t productive.

This isn’t news—you know this. Then how come you spend so much time getting off course and doing stupid stuff? I do it too, we all do. We start our weeks and days with good intentions and then somehow get off course . . .

. . . and things don’t get done.

Maybe you, like a lot of entrepreneurs, need a good way to wake yourself up and get back to what you should be doing—things that will help move your business along.

Here are three steps you can take to help you STOP when you get off track and start doing stupid stuff.

Take these steps to stop doing stupid things when you should be working

Step 1.

Put a big note where you’ll see it throughout the day. It can say, “Pay attention,” or “Why are you doing that?” or “Hey! Get back to work!” or whatever you think will wake you up and get you out of that bright-shiny-object daze whenever you start to drift. For years I had a “Pay attention!” sticky note on my monitor, until it got to be part of my environment and I didn’t see it anymore—that’s when it’s time to move on to some other wording or something else that will get your attention long enough for you to move on to Step 2.

Step 2.

When you’ve got your own attention, ask yourself, Why am I doing what I’m doing?” followed by these questions:

A. Is it income producing?

If it is, cool — carry on. If it’s not, can you stop it and shift to something that is?

B. Is it keeping me from doing something that is income producing?

Yes? Then stop it and move on. Delegate it if it still needs to be done. Put it on the back burner. Whatever.

C. Does it benefit my business? 

If you’re playing a game or looking for a present for cousin Suzie, maybe you can do it later. If someone else is keeping you from work you need to do, let them know. There can be sneaky things in here too, that look like they’re important, but they’re really not benefitting your business—be ruthless and truthful here.

D. Is it necessary?

Does it even need to be done? Maybe it’s something you used to have to do, but isn’t necessary anymore. Rethink it—maybe you can dump it. I used to save a lot of paper files and would spend a lot of time updating and organizing them. Necessary? Not most of the time.

E. Can I be doing something else more productive? 

If yes, go do it. You only have so many hours in the day, and you don’t want to waste them.

Step 3.

Reward yourself every time you stop doing something unproductive and move on to something productive. This step is very important! Don’t skip it! You spend enough time beating yourself up for doing things wrong, it’s very very necessary to reward yourself when you do things right. It really helps your brain.

Taking my dogs for a short walk works well as a reward for me. Get a snack, or put a dollar in a jar. After awhile, the thought of being productive will be a reward in itself. Also, the extra income that comes along with a more successful business helps.

Being aware, and having a method to remind yourself to be aware, is the biggest part of the battle.

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