mo·dus op·e·ran·di, mōdəs äpəˈrandē/ noun: a particular way or method of doing something, especially one that is characteristic or well-established. Are you running your business based on someone else’s modus operandi? With so many “how to” articles available, it’s easy to pick up the prescribed habits of another and discard that which comes naturally to you. We look at the success of others and assume, if we follow their methods, we will achieve the same. Sometimes this works, but often times it leaves us frustrated and wondering why we are not partaking in the same success or why the methods of others don’t work for us.
“Not everyone can get up and exercise or work best in the morning.” Mark Cuban
How many articles have you read about waking up early or to stop working afterhours? What if you are a nocturnal creature and your best thinking takes place late at night? What happens if your creative juices don’t start flowing until well after 4pm? Discovering your personal modus operandi can actually show you the best times to perform certain tasks and activities for optimal productivity and growth. How do you discover your M.O.? Start listening to your body. Start recognizing your energy levels and creativity patterns.
Reflect, review and reset your internal clock
Think about your past performances. Are you sleepy and nappish in the morning, afternoon or evening? Are you energized when the sun rises or long after it sets? Once you determine if you are a “morning person” or “night owl,” reset your internal clock and start organizing your high-energy required tasks (projects, deadlines, finances, writings, etc. to coincide with your peak hours. Use your off-peak hours for low-energy tasks (emails, organizing, to-do lists, errands, etc.)
You’ll notice you may have more than one peak. Experiment for a week or two to determine what time(s) work best to perform certain activities and in which order (i.e. phone calls before emails, projects before finances, meetings with clients before projects, etc.). Some people work well by knocking out quality work in the morning, taking a break and then performing other tasks later in the evening. Your optimal work schedule could vary not just by time, but by day as well. The point is to find what times work best for you to perform various activities and schedule them accordingly. Only you will know what works best for you.
Learn how to use your habits to your advantage
Squeeze out your bad habits by adding on to your good habits. You can easily add productivity tasks to your existing habits for increased efficiency and ease. For example, after each lunch break, make 2 client “wellness” calls or read a business book while you do your laundry. You could write 3 “thank you” cards before you go to bed each night (leave a box on your nightstand) or write your daily to-do list while you eat your breakfast. After you brush your teeth, meditate and visualize your day for 10 minutes. Your good habits are stepping stones for more and better habits. They already work for you. Build on them. You’ll find it easy to remember productive activities when they are done immediately before or after an existing good habit.
Know when to stop
We are one of the few countries who consider working 80-90 hours a week, a badge of honor. What good is all of that time, if it only serves to send you to your grave quicker than you expected? Many countries takes months off at a time. The shut down for 2-3 hours in the middle of the day. They close for business for 30 to 60 days at a time. There is reason why you can’t organize your business to take enough time off to unwind, reflect and refresh. The idea that you can’t because you have “too much” to do is nothing more than disorganization, a false sense of pride (the world and business can’t survive without you) and reflects poor systems and planning. Even Bill Gates takes two weeks away every year and is completely unreachable. The fact that you are solopreneur/sole proprietor is not an excuse either, because you can prepare your clients for your time off, you can arrange your schedule for account for the time away and you can adjust your workload. Automation and delegation are your friends. Lean on them.
WANT TO RE-POST THIS ARTICLE ON YOUR BLOG OR USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR BLOG, NEWSLETTER OR WEBSITE? You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:
Simplicity expert and Micro Business Therapist™, A.Michelle Blakeley helps entrepreneurs align their purpose and principles with their business practices for agile growth. Connect with her on Twitter at @simplicityinc or check out her online magazine, Micro Business Therapy