This week’s radio show dealt with a topic that I’ve been wanting to touch on for a while, and am only beginning to scratch the surface of: the importance of hard work. One of the things I’m asked the most frequently is how to get from point A to point B the fastest. People want to know shortcuts, tricks and any idea that they think will let them skip right to the “fun part” of their dream job. But in reality, that “fun part” isn’t as fun if you haven’t learned and grown at a pace that allows you to adjust to the difficulties and hurdles of running your own business. While it’s not as buzzy or exciting, pushing through the really tough early stages of any job is almost always rewarding in a way you can’t always see coming.
One of the most valuable tools any business owner has is the support system of colleagues, co-workers and friends around them. And I feel strongly that to build those connections, you need to have shared experiences and struggles. So today’s show is all about the importance of hard work, how to push through it and how to find the value in difficult situations and apply it to your work (and life) as you move forward. Amy and Max joined me on-air for this show to share their tips and thoughts and I think you’ll really enjoy them. Thanks so much for listening! xo, grace
Click through for some tips from the show and tips about pushing through hard work!
Tips from Amy:
1. Use Your Mornings
Your willpower decreases throughout the day (diets are broken in the evening not the morning), so after a good night’s sleep, the morning is the best time to tackle the things you really want to get done.
For me, I do the thing that I really want to get done- the thing that is outside my normal duties- first thing in the morning. I read a book called “What the Most Successful People do Before Breakfast” (by Laura Vanderkam) recently that looks at how to squeeze a little more out of your morning. Using the morning to nurture your career, your family or yourself is a great way to get through stretches of work or tasks you need to get done while your mind is fresh and awake.
How to Carve out Morning Time
1. Track your time – you may be too tired in the morning because you’re staying up too late.
2. Don’t use your precious morning time for emails. Most people don’t expect a response at 6am
3. Picture your perfect morning
4. Think through the logistics and map out your morning schedule
2. Build a Habit by Charting Your Progress
Don’t Break the Chain – this is something that I’ve unknowingly always done. I love logging my accomplishments. For my Spanish, I practice every day. And it turns out, I’ve been unknowing using a technique from Jerry Seinfeld. Seven years ago, Lifehacker did a story on Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity secret, which is to put an ‘X’ on a big wall calendar every day that you work on something. After a few days you won’t want to ‘break the chain’ and you’ll keep pushing through the work or practice you need to keep doing.
3. Start Small
I can certainly be my own worst critic, but I’m also my own best cheerleader. So I try to encourage myself by repeating ‘if you don’t get started it’s not going to get done’. I try to make tasks bite-sized and sometimes it’s just as easy as reminding myself that small steps are what get you closer to the finish line.
4. Change Your Scenery
I usually do my writing for Design*Sponge on my sofa or in our office. If I’m trying to do other work, I use my dining room table. Sometimes the simple act of changing desks or your view can help you get through a tough patch of work.