by Kirsten Hodgson
Do you ever have every intention of doing something…
…but for one reason or another you just don’t get around to it?
Maybe something more urgent crops up.
Or the day runs away with you.
Or perhaps you’re struggling or just not that motivated to do it.
Whatever the reason, a lot of us have things that keep appearing on our ‘to do’ lists day after day, week after week. And we never seem to get around to doing them.
The 100 day challenge
I joined the Happiness Experiment a few months ago. Initiated by Kate Billing, whose focus is on making the world a better (work)place, Kate suggested writing down three good things each day. It’s a way of giving you a positive mindset and being grateful for the little things (even on those horrendous days it’s amazing the silver linings you can find).
More recently Kate asked people to join her in a 100 day challenge: it could be anything you were inspired to do and you had to commit to simple daily actions for 100 days. There were three guidelines:
- make a commitment
- work your edge (stretch past your comfort zone!) AND
- follow through (forgiving yourself when you don’t and beginning again)
Given my tendency to procrastinate I decided to commit to doing one thing each day that I wouldn’t normally get around to.
I’m 14 days in and my ‘to do’ list is getting shorter. Plus it’s actually getting easier to do the things I would normally put off.
- made several phone calls I was uncomfortable about making
- written and posted some thank you cards (in record time)
- progressed a project that’s been on the back-burner for four months because I’ve been too busy to work on it
- and completed several other tasks – both work related and personal.
What’s this got to do with professional services marketing?
As professionals we’re busy.
And we tend to prefer doing the things we’re good at, or that we can tick off quickly.
That means things like business development initiatives are often put on the back burner in favour of client work.
Even when there’s not too much work on it’s easy to avoid getting out from behind our desks.
Particularly if what we know we need to do is outside our comfort zone.
However, doing one thing per day really isn’t so daunting.
Plus, if you commit to it, there’s something inside you that really wants to get it done so that it’s not hanging over your head.
You could even let a colleague, friend or partner know your goals for the week so that they can hold you accountable.
Imagine how much more you could achieve and how much more of the work you love, you could be doing.
So I’m going to set you the same challenge Kate set:
Commit to doing one thing each day for the next 100 days and see what happens.
It could be:
- writing a personal note to 1 client each day.
- calling 1 contact each day just to find out how things are going.
- doing 1 thing to help a colleague each day.
- doing 1 business development task each day – one day it might be coffee, the next it might be asking for some client feedback, attending an event, or starting a conversation on LinkedIn
You get the gist – so long as you’re focused and the activity will contribute towards your overall goals.
Interestingly, 100 days is (according to Kate) the period of time for technical practice for improved performance ( for example the Suzuki school of violin practice).
If you can develop this habit, imagine how much you could achieve, and how much better you could serve your clients.
What action are you going to commit to?
Have you done anything similar? If so, I’d love to hear how it went and the benefits from doing it.