It Happens Every Spring

Well, we’re a few days into the spring season, so it’s a good time to discuss an annual tradition near and dear to the hearts of all of us (and our mothers)…..spring cleaning.

But before you throw on your old t-shirt and grungy sneakers, hold up. I’m not talking about your jam-packed garage, basement or the dreaded storage unit (although, if you’re like me, they’re probably due.) I’m talking about your business.

The first day of spring tends to fall alarmingly close to the 100-Day mark—remember, the first 100 days of the new year? It’s that milestone that politicians frequently cite as a due date for new initiatives….and Day 100 of 2017 ticked by just this past Monday.

We talked about getting a game plan together for your first 100 days of the year in a blog a few weeks ago. And that’s still good advice—hopefully you’ve made some measurable progress toward those goals we tried to get you to start thinking about back in January.

But let’s take a break from the plan and devote ourselves to a little good housekeeping. And we can start by taking a step back and surveying our day-to-day routines.

What kinds of habits are currently ruling your workday? Good ones? Productive ones? Activities that drive your personal and professional lives toward your desired goals?

Or maybe you can identify some habits you’ve fallen into that aren’t so good. These could be recent developments, or behaviors that have been in place for years.

Like that morning donut with your coffee, the one with the rainbow sprinkles you nab from the break room before anybody can beat you to it? Or your mid-morning Facebook break, sneakily wedged in between client calls? Or, one of our favorites, the daily review of your to-do list and subsequent shuffling of those “troublesome” tasks to sometime later in the week?

Science tells us that it can take more than 60 days to form a new habit….but bad habits come much easier. That’s because they’re often the result of NOT doing something you should, or pursuing activities that yield immediate—but fleeting—rewards. Start your spring cleaning by taking inventory of your personal habits and tossing the ones that take you in the wrong direction.

Similarly, your daily tasks and activities need to be evaluated with that same keen eye that scans the attic for garage sale fodder. Are all of the activities in your typical week worthy of your effort, generating the right ROTI (return on time invested)?

Again, we sometimes fall victim to tackling the easiest projects first, frequently never quite getting around to the more difficult ones, or waiting too late in the day to effectively pursue them.

Spring cleaning doesn’t necessarily mean throwing everything away—just as often, it’s a process or reorganizing your stuff, putting it in the right location or order, and assigning it a new priority.

And no, despite what Mom tried to get you to believe, spring cleaning usually isn’t a lot of fun. But trust me, it pays off—it can put you on the right track to more success, better results, and a much more profitable summer and fall.

Just like Mom always said—buckle down, get it done, and THEN you can go outside and play!

Grow Big or Go Home!