So what do you think are the top three mistakes that entrepreneurs make when they want to be more productive? My name is Erika Salloux from living-harmony.org and today I’m going to tell you what those three biggest mistakes are and how to get rid of them.
Make Your Own Schedule
So the number one is that they have no sense of any sort of what you might call a schedule, but what I like to call a power practice. So they just do anything at any time, they don’t tailor or tidy any of their time at all.
So what I recommend to clients that I work with is to come up with a solution, a power practice. They might be more the kind of person that wants to be a little flexible in their life so that might be a flexible schedule, but they know when they work and when they don’t work so they don’t feel like they’re always working.
It doesn’t have to be the same schedule anyone else has, it can be completely designed around yourself, and that’s the best way to do it. It will be designed around the life you want to lead, around the schedule that’s going to work best for you.
Create Boundaries and Stick to Them
Let’s talk about boundaries. Most of the time, if I say the word boundaries to someone, they freeze up and they think ‘oh my gosh that’s going to take away all my freedom’, especially if they’re an entrepreneur. But actually, boundaries are about creating the life that we want, being more authentic, knowing what we do and don’t want to do, and then sticking to that.
I was just at a conference recently with a panel of people in my profession, organizers, and they were asked: “how many of you have a cancellation policy?” And then: “how many of you enforce it?”
They could say three things: they could say they always enforce it, they never enforce it or they sometimes enforce it. All of them said never except for one person that said sometimes. So People are creating these boundaries but then not sticking to them, which actually makes them appear more unprofessional and not really authentic. So why are you creating a contract and then not sticking to it?
The same thing when entrepreneurs when I start working with them, they have one phone number. That means all of their friends call them on the same number as their clients and their colleagues, so they always feel like they’re working. I always recommend to get another phone line so you can separate your business and your personal life. So once again you’ve created some boundaries and you can feel like you’re not working now and you don’t have to worry about who’s calling.
The second biggest mistake that entrepreneurs make is that they let everything and anything get in the way of their priorities, their focus. The number one way to let this go is to ditch the distractions. People often think that it’s only other people that create the distractions and they have no control. So oftentimes I hear from people saying ‘I have no control over that’ as though when the distractions come in, they have to stop and do whatever the distraction is. But in reality, a lot of people create their own distractions.
So things like email, doing things that are personal, are juicy because it takes us away from actually really concentrating. But in reality, all that other research shows that anytime we take ourselves away from something and have to go back, we need to refocus our brain and it’s taking us four times as long to get anything done and we’re doing it less well. It’s the neuroscience, it’s completely proven.
So any time that we’re letting distractions from other people or from ourselves come in, we’re slowing down or being less productive.
Stop the Multitasking
The number three mistake that I see entrepreneurs make is “attempted multitasking”. The reason I’m saying attempted is because you aren’t really multitasking. Once again neuroscience has proven that our brain doesn’t actually multitask, it just switches back and forth really quickly between tasks, which slows us down.
So when we’re multitasking, we’re being less productive. I saw a guy the other day eating a sandwich, on his phone, on his headphones, and riding his bike. Not only is that super dangerous but he’s also doing all of those things really bad, making his brain really stupid.
I tell people to stop the multitasking madness but they feel like they have to be constantly connected, they have that constantly connected syndrome. When we’re attempting to multitask, we’re in this fight or flight response – our adrenaline rises up and that makes us less creative. So if you really don’t want to be less creative and really worn down and tired all the time, stop the multitasking.
About Erika Salloux
Erika is a Certified Professional Organizer® (CPO®) who is the founder and president of Living Harmony, LLC. Since 2003 she has gotten people organized so they can live their desires and purpose.
Employing her holistic and coach-centered approach to organizing, Erika conducts transformative speaking programs. Her signature EmpoweredTime™ process leads those looking for a more calm, grounded, and focused reality to increased health, serenity, and productivity. Participants learn how to banish paper clutter for good using her PaperPower™ system. And her JetPac© method transforms packing and traveling from stress to simplicity for all kinds of vacationers, trekkers, and business travelers.
Erika regularly contributes to Boston-area and national media outlets. Her appearances include NPR, NECN, CBS, FOX, WUMB, Martha Stewart Living Radio, and The Boston Globe. She has acted as an organizing consultant for Real Simple.
Erika’s clients have included those at Harvard University, Wellesley College, Boston University, Suffolk University, Tufts University, Cambridge Health Alliance, Loomis, Sayles & Company, L.P., Cambridge Savings Bank, Museum of Fine Arts, Prudential, Putnam Investments, Raytheon, Houghton Mifflin, Pottery Barn Kids, IBM, Massachusetts General Hospital, McLean Hospital, New England Cable News, National Labor Relations Board, and the Transportation Security Administration.
Erika is an active member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and a member of its Golden Circle. Her NAPO positions have included Leader of the Speaking for Fees special interest group and the Golden Circle Liaison to NAPO-New England’s Programming Committee. Her past NAPO-NE positions have included the Co-Chair of the Programming Committee and Co-Chair of the Public Relations Committee.
Since 2009, she has been an active and loyal member of Holistic Organizers, a group of international organizers who integrate spiritual and holistic principles and practices into their work and advocate for a compassionate, heart-centered approach to organizing.
Prior to launching Living Harmony, Erika held positions at WBUR and the Public Radio International show “From the Top,” respectively. Her rich and varied public broadcasting life has also included working on such programs as “Sessions at West 54th” and “Humankind.” Before that she was a music industry publicist and artist manager working with performers as diverse as John Mellencamp and EMF.
Erika holds a BS in Mass Communications from Boston University’s College of Communication.
Erika’s other passions include her inquisitive and interspiritual spiritual life, nurturing consciousness, creating and sharing meals with her friends and family, dancing all over the place, yoga, meditation, all sorts of music, spontaneous travel to varied destinations, tennis, theatre, film, and swimming in almost any body of water, but especially an ocean or sea. Embracing life through an open heart is always her desire.