How often do you want to quit what you’re doing during your workday? How often do you give yourself a reason—any reason—to leave your office? It’s time to stop making excuses for your behavior.
Motivating yourself is all about having good self-talk. But it’s so easy to let negativity creep in around the corners of our day. And when it does, it can have a domino effect on every single area of our lives. Negativity can hold us back from reaching our goals. It can damage our relationships and prevent us from moving up in our careers. Frankly, negativity is poisonous. If you want to end negativity and the effect it’s having on your productivity and happiness, I have one simple tip for you.
I heard a story about a top-producing salesperson who was struggling with negativity. He was feeling defeated when things didn’t go his way, and he was continually falling short of reaching the goals he set for himself—finding an effective way to stay motivated seemed impossible.
Finally, he got so frustrated with himself that he made a decision; it was time to quit making excuses for why things were going wrong in his career and his life.
To End Excuses, Incentivize Productivity
In an effort to stop making excuses a part of his life, he hung a sign above his door that read “N.E.A.T.” His coworkers noticed the sign and were naturally curious. Around the same time, they also noticed a change in his demeanor and productivity.
When someone finally asked him what had changed, he explained to them that he made the sign to improve his sales attitude. N.E.A.T. stood for No Excuses Accepted Today. Every time he started to walk out of his office, he had to look at that sign and evaluate if the reason he was leaving his office was a good enough one to pull him away from his work.
The day I heard that story, I came back to my home office and made a sign for myself, hanging it above the inside of my office door. I, too, needed to end my excuses. If I was going to walk out of my office for a glass of water or otherwise, I needed to assess my reasoning; had I done my sales activities? Or was I looking for an excuse to avoid them?
It was hard at first, of course. But the more I looked at the sign, and the more honest I was with myself, the more productive I got. I used the sign as a reminder to buckle down and stay motivated. It became an excellent reason to put in prospecting hours, too, as in, “If I prospect for two hours, I can go have a snack or a coffee.” It helped to incentivize my tasks throughout the day in a way that prioritized my IPAs.
What’s Your System?
It might seem hokey, this simple little sign with four letters on it. But it worked for us. And it could work for you too. We fall into the trap of thinking we need some massive thing to keep us motivated, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated.
Come up with a system that works for you, whether that’s a printed sign or regular reminders that pop up on your phone or computer every hour. Or maybe anytime someone asks you out for lunch or coffee, you have a list of three questions you ask yourself before saying yes.
Whatever you land on, stick with it. Hold yourself accountable for managing your time, and quit throwing away your day over and over again. Stop falling for your excuses, and you’ll be well on the road to creating a practice of self-discipline that will remove negativity from your day and open you up to incredible new opportunities for growth and success.
Until next time—go sell some stuff!