It’s funny that I chose Momentum as March’s topic because 1) it’s my word of the year and 2) I don’t have any right now. As you may recall from January’s Letter From The Editor, I questioned all the goals we were setting for ourselves. It felt like we were setting ourselves up for failure. Is it actually possible to keep up with everything we want to accomplish? My word for 2016 was Action. I’m not one for staying in my head. I want to work. I like actionable steps to get things done. But I noticed that I was busy but nothing important was actually getting done. So I made Start my word for 2017. I had all these grand ideas but I needed to actually just f’ing start on them! So I did. I launched a business with my best friends. That was huge. I also learned what I didn’t want to waste my time on. For years I said I wanted to write a book. Last year I realized that the subject matter did not resonate with me anymore and to hold space for this book I wanted to write in my heart was just an exercise in wasted energy.
I wanted Momentum to be my word for 2018 because I wanted to keep the energy I had in 2017 going. I wanted to still feel excited about the projects I had going on. It’s very easy to get worried about the day to day activities of running a business. Responding to emails, taxes (oh my god, the taxes), writing proposals, and more - that became the focus. By the time all that was done, I barely felt like I had the energy to spend on that actual enjoyable part of the business - working on client projects. I believe this is supposed to be the part of the post where I tell you the grand lesson. Well, I don’t really have one. The only thing I learned is to stop focusing on stuff that doesn’t matter and work on what’s most important. But I hear your concerns through this glowing screen! “Isn’t it rude to not answer emails?” Sometimes, but not really. I once heard that emails are someone else’s to-do list. Usually, it’s someone else requesting your time and energy. How about scheduling your productive hours of the day to the task at hand and then using a different time period to answer emails. “But I have to pay my taxes!” Sadly, yes, we all do. How about hiring an accountant so you don’t have to worry about trying to manage it yourself. “Proposals are what get me work!” Well, maybe. Writing proposals is a full-time job in itself. Maybe find a better way to pitch yourself to clients that is less time consuming.
I know personally that if I want to keep momentum, I need to cut out the extra stuff vying for my attention. Every morning (or even better, the night before) write down the top three most important things you need to get done. Spoiler alert: emails should not be on that list. Then write down three other things that would be nice to get done but it will be ok if it doesn’t. Then schedule yourself time to attend to emails and social media. Make sure it’s after you have allotted time to get all your work done (unless your prime working hours are later in the day, flip this and do emails and social media first thing and get it out of the way). You’ll start to feel way better and the momentum will build and build.
This month on The Lady Project Blog, we will be sharing our tips on how we keep the momentum going. I hope you learn something new along the way.