Why logging your mistakes weekly is a complete game-changer for your life or your business.
I satisfyingly got a good bit out of January in terms of the mistakes I made [#chuffedAF]. Even though at times I felt I had more urgent things to do than fill in my mistake log worksheet* for the week, when I did find that two minutes, I'm now so freaking glad I did. And I want to share with you why.
*(If you don't know what I'm talking about, I'm referencing the mistake log worksheet I'm giving away for free here. Go have a look-see and download yours, it'll become your new BFF, I'm pretty sure of it).
So why am I so glad? Because now, that 'beauty of hindsight' is committed to paper and I can physically see where I'm going wrong, what behaviour I might be repeating and what areas I need to work on are now alarmingly clear. The guess work is taken out of the equation y'see and now I've got a whole month of documented personal growth to look back on and grow from. And all from just printing it out, leaving it on my desk as a reminder, and using a teeny-tiny two minutes of my time each week. It's pretty minimal-faff tbh.
So, into the dirty honest truth of my January and why writing down the mistakes I made is game-changing. *rubs hands together eagerly.* See if you can relate, and you win a lolly if you spot the running theme!
Week one: Not planning my time effectively = lacking in focus = poor productivity = über procrastination-station.
It's something that a lot of us struggle with on the daily, I know. But for me, it might be a side-effect of both being a perfectionist (and avoiding stuff I know is not gonna be perfect), and also wearing a lot of hats (mama, wife, daughter, sister, friend, designer, creator, entrepreneur, blogger, marketer, accountant, strategist, cleaner, chef...it's a pretty long list so I'll stop it there, but you get the vibe). All too often I found my days were drowning in busy-ness but also drowning in distractions. I had plenty to-do on my to-do list, but so many to-dos weren't getting to-done. I wasn't giving any time allocation to each task.
The lesson I got out of this one is that when I do plan my time alongside my to-do list, my focus is clearer, I'm less distracted and my time management as a whole is way better. (By this I mean, organising my days as; from 8–8:45am, check emails. 8:45-10:45am, design time. 10:45-11am, call printers and collect deliveries from reception. You get me?) So all-in-all, I feel that's a pretty nifty mistake to have made, to have noted and to be in a position to improve upon.
Week two: Letting un-subscribers get me down.
It's a real first-world problem for sure! But when you're running a business and focusing on a particular growth area, it can be a real dig in the ribs when someone vocally tells you that they don't want to pick up what you're putting out. i.e, 'I liked you at first, but now I don't. Leave me alone'. In this case, it was one singular un-subscriber from my email list. I know, even typing it out loud sounds like the most ridiculous digital two-year-old's tantrum. I also know this has to be happening to all of us, pretty much every millisecond in our modern-tech times, but it doesn't make it any easier to stomach when you're really passionate about something.
But having the opportunity to become conscious of it and noting it as an area I felt was unproductive, demotivating and pointless quite frankly, it became an awesome mistake to learn from. So what did I learn? That they're simply not my gal/guy. If they're not resonating with my content, they most definitely should unsubscribe from my email list. I would too. If they're seeing my presence in their inbox as annoying, then I want them to unsubscribe. I'm creating content in the hope that I help people, not annoy 'em. If they feel like I'm pestering them more than I'm serving them, then by all means, unsubscribe-away. Go and be free buddy, life's too short. Moreover, the only value in an email list is that the people on it are engaged and want to hear from you. There's no value in an email list of people that couldn't care less what you say. That's why you can buy a database of 50,000 email addresses for next to nothing, because its value is next to nothing. So yep, having the opportunity to recognise the error of my ways was a super-liberating eye-opener. Yeeehaaa for un-subscribey folk cleaning my database for me!
Week three: Not focusing any time on my bigger-picture goals.
This definitely follows on from not planning my time effectively earlier :/ #musttryharder. And I'm sure I'm not alone when I find my days are wholly consumed with the 'now' tasks; What task is going to pay me first? What task is needed the soonest? What task are other people relying on me for? It's just common sense that they get priority. But what I found myself doing mid-January is ONLY doing those tasks. Day-in day-out. And then wondering why I was feeling deflated with a 'what's the point' feeling at the end of a shattering day. Is this what I'd signed up for as an entrepreneur? Errr, nope. Hmmmm...this must be a mistake then homies! *ting*!
After then stepping back and analysing it, I realised I was missing that time and attention dedicated to my bigger picture goals (the whole reason why the now tasks exist, right?). Easily done, and easily fixed too. Without me giving myself that regular opportunity to refocus into my overall mission and direction, I was aimlessly floating, heading nowhere. I was just being busy for busy's sake. The lesson I took from that is that I have to allocate time to my overarching goals. Every week. No excuses. Even if it's just getting up an hour before everyone else on a Sunday morning. (You'd be surprised how much you can achieve in a focused hour). That solitary hour is a baby step closer to my bigger picture goals than the previous day was. And that's progress. A year of just those Sunday morning hours, is a monster 52 hours of progress. Don't underestimate their power!
Week four: Not reaching my targets/goals because I'm trying to do it all myself.
The lightbulb moment of my penultimate greatest mistake kinda came too late in the month, as I got to the end of January and hadn't achieved what I'd hoped. Or come close. Disappointing, disheartening, and quite demotivating tbh. I was constantly chasing my tail between trying to be a good, present mama, giving love to my valuable clients, growing my business/tribe and trying to cling on to normality by being there for family and friends too. I never felt like I had the time for it all (or most of it tbh!), and even though I've been an advocate for delegation and outsourcing to allow yourself more time to do your best bits, I admittedly didn't practice what I preached in this respect.
But with noting this down as a pretty painful mistake, lesson = learnt. I cannot do it all. Try as I might, I can't. So I could either keep doing what I've been doing and feel disappointed again at the end of February, or I could listen to the wisdom in my lesson and live it out this time around. So excitingly, this month I've hired my first virtual assistant! Woohoo! She's an awesome gal called Katie with her own VA business, she's based in Newport and she's gotten to work already. Yasssss! I can't wait to see what that freeing up of my time is going to let me do to my February. The poor month hasn't got a clue what's gonna hit it. Bless.
For sure, I have a lot of work to do around time management and goal tracking. (And if you spotted this as the running theme, message me for your lolly!) But living through all these mistakes first-hand, giving myself a short moment to reflect on them and see their lessons, and being able to tangibly see in writing how much I've grown over the course of four short weeks, really is game-changing. And I'm sooo buzzed to see what eight weeks of 2017 growth looks like at the end of this month. I'd LOVE to know how you get on too! Don't forget to download your free worksheet here if you haven't already.
Yasssss for messing up homies! *high ten* :D