1. (initial capital letter) a Christian festival, observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day.
2. an appearance or manifestation, esp. of a deity.
3. sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.
4. a literary work or section of a work presenting, usually symbolically, such a moment of revelation and insight.
Well here it is Epiphany- the 12th Day of Christmas- January 6th. We have likely packed away the decorations, are well into the New Year, and have now had our own epiphany that our Resolutions were a bit lofty no matter how great they sounded a week ago.
Only one thing though: you still want those resolutions to actualize- But how?
Note: This article is written from a business perspective but look to see where it fits all other areas of your life.
First- go get that list of all the stuff that you wanted to do this year--->
Now let’s look to balance some of this out. While you are pretty darn effective at time management, you still only have the same 24 hours in a day that the rest of us have. So here is my epiphany this morning.
First thing first: Learn to say NO. We want to be a Yes to things in life. Yes to expansion, yes to increasing our bottom line, yes to making every client feel important, yes to empowering our employees, and yes to actually liking- no, adoring- our business. But we need to say no to a few things to be able to be a yes. Seriously- say it a few times out loud right now. No. Nooo. NO. Kinda feels good, huh?
No to constant social media outlets. These are probably the biggest time vampires of them all. You click on Twitter or Facebook and next thing you know all of your vital time has been sucked dry. Email can be just as deadly. Since I know that, I need to be smart about this as I am committed to a bigger game. Instead of checking in on the vamps all day here is how to have them work for you. Sure go ahead and start your day off light and check your social media accounts. I have learned that my love/hate relationship with Twitter can be more harmonious if I only check my Mentions, Retweets, and Messages. It gives me a bit of insight as how I land in my community. A very quick glance at what folks are talking about and then I am outta there. Creating lists of people help also. That way if I only want to see posts from interactive users, or inspirational tweeters, I can see them with one click and not get stuck down the rabbit hole two hours later. After that, CLOSE THE BROWSER TAB. If you need to go back to post a link to your new blog post, then open a new one but do not leave that tab open all day. Pretty much the same for Facebook- hop on hop off and close the tab. PERIOD.
No to having immediate response to every email in your Inbox. Check your email in the morning and use it to see which fires are burning the hottest. Sure you may wake up to an insane amount of emails but not all of them illicit an immediate response. Tend to what needs tending to right now and then break from it for the rest of the morning to work on that new initiative. Repeat after lunch.
No to those really cool and shiny things that always distracts us. Get clear as to what you are committed to this year and stay focused. That’s it for this one- nothing else to distract you from this point. Eye on the prize.
No to eating lunch by yourself more times than not during the week. Believe it or not you are likely to be more productive after meeting someone for lunch outside of your normal work place. This could look like meeting a colleague, a friend, or even your mom. Just make sure that it is another human being that you can have a conversation with. Even if the conversation has nothing to do with your business, it can open up a new perspective to an issue that you face.
No to every meeting request that comes across your Inbox. As in, you do not have to be a Yes to every single request. They requested and you have choice. If you know that it is for a project that you are not committed to, just say no. While we are talking about meetings, this is a good time to take a look at your current meeting schedule and check in to see if they are actually supporting what you are up to or hindering you by taking up that precious resource of time.
No to being the one to do everything. A great way to grow is to hire someone. If finances are tight, be creative and open to hiring options. Perhaps it is an intern, perhaps someone not looking for a ‘job’ but some way to contribute to their community, or perhaps as part of a mentoring program. Bringing someone on grows your business by having someone else in your business to discuss it with you. It allows for more things to get checked off of that goal sheet with more velocity (and velocity rocks just in case you didn’t know). It also grows our community by you training and developing someone if taking in an entry level or intern. Of course, hiring someone helps to grow our economy. And the best part is that it frees us up to do other things. *Being a leader means creating opportunities for others.
No to giving up on what you and your business yearn for. This is different from those things that would be nice. You know which ones that I am talking about. When you get stopped in getting what you really want, look for another way. If you can’t see any possible way to get it and yet you still yearn for it, call someone and start a conversation. After all, anything is possible!