How to Change Your Bad Marketing Habits for Good

The gift of timeIt’s time to be honest! Are you really spending the time you need to each day on growing your business? Or are you getting distracted with time wasters like surfing the Internet, hanging out on Facebook or other busy work that isn’t leading to profits?

If your time management and productivity habits are holding you back, it will be impossible to grow your business. That’s why it’s so important to start building good habits that support your marketing needs and help you reach your goals. I know what it’s like to try to overhaul your life (and habits!) in one fell swoop. It doesn’t work so well! But what ALWAYS works is taking one step at a time. Here’s where you start:

  1. Commit to doing things differently – Nothing in your business will change unless you start changing the way you think about your business. Own your past mistakes and don’t make excuses about them. Commit to yourself right now that you’ll be changing your habits. Focus on all the benefits that you’ll achieve once you make those changes – more clients, more income and more freedom. Make the decision to take the first step… TODAY!
  2. Get organized – Lack of organization can cost you serious amounts of time, and your time as a business owner is precious. Dedicate yourself to getting more organized so you can hit the ground running. Start with organizing your marketing efforts into a plan. If the thought of planning 6 months or a year seems overwhelming, that’s OK. Start with this week! Outline what you want to accomplish and then break down those goals into easy to implement action steps.
  3. Face the facts about how you’re spending your time – We all receive the gift of 24 hours each day. Of those 24 hours, let’s say that 8 hours are dedicated to work and building your business. That’s all you’ve got each day – so how are you going to spend it? Will you focus ONLY on your priority tasks? Will you allow email, phone calls and other distractions suck your time away? When you face the fact that those eight hours are all you have each day, and that spending those eight hours wisely is absolutely key to your success, it becomes much easier to eliminate distractions and stay focused. Of course, uncontrollable events will occur, but you can always make a choice about how you will spend your time budget.
  4. Be accountable – Let friends and family know about your schedule and that you’re not available for personal calls during your work hours. Block out specific times during the day when you check your email and handle social media. During other times keep your email program CLOSED so you can avoid new messages and alerts that can distract you. Work with a marketing coach who can help you define your projects, break them down into chunks and stay on track with your progress.

Bad marketing habits don’t have to hold you back forever! When you own up to your past mistakes, make a commitment to building better habits and set up accountability systems, you will start to see the results that good habits and consistency can bring.

What ONE shift can you commit to this week so you give more attention to increasing your profits? Share your thoughts with me in the comments.

YOUR “TAKE ACTION” PLAN FOR THIS WEEK:

  1. Own up to your past mistakes and make a commitment to change. There’s no time like the present, so commit now to developing better habits.
  2. Outline a simple marketing plan that you can follow consistently. This organization step will make it easier to implement.
  3. Dedicate your work hours to getting WORK done. Ask yourself during the day “Is this really how I should spend these minutes?” and change course if you’re doing something unproductive.
  4. Be accountable. Find a coach who will help you break your big goals into smaller pieces, and will hold you to finishing those smaller pieces by a certain time and date.

Comments

  1. The best way to get rid of bad habits is to replace them with good habits. Each day, make sure that you are acting on the good habit rather than the bad. As time goes on, the good habit will come naturally, and the bad habit will gradually become less and less tempting.

    • Thanks for the note Jeanine! I love your simple, practical advice. Success in this regard is simply a matter of making a commitment and following through, which doesn’t mean we have to be perfect every time. Just keep trying! 🙂

  2. Thanks Sydni this message was timely.

    It is so easy to talk ourselves out of what we need to do by replacing it with lower priority tasks that are easier to accomplish. We feel like we are getting a lot done, but the key tasks stay untouched. Through your coaching in the past I set my goals today and had completed them quickly, but I did not fill the rest of my time with my next most important marketing and sales goals.

    Tomorrow I will, and it will be a productive and profitable day.

  3. Great post.

    Recently I started tracking my hours to see what I was really spending my time on. I thought I was easily putting in 8 or MORE hours a day, but when it came down to it, I realized I wasn’t – most of the time. Between personal things going on, obligations, commitment, exercise, and everything else, I was really working closer to 6 hours. It made me realize how every minute counts, and to take the time I do have more seriously.

    I’m committed to doing things differently!

  4. Another GREAT article Syndi! I especially love how you encourage us to stay out of overwhelm by writing down goals for the week. This really helps – especially when you’re ambitious and creative and want to do so many things at once. Narrowing down to a week at a time is great.

    As always, awesome practical advice.

    Thanks!

    • Thanks Brenda! Sometimes we can ONLY wrap our head around what we need to do for this week. So this simple exercise can really boost one’s productivity. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  5. I love the opening sentence “It’s time to be honest!” and it’s become a bit of a theme for me… more specifically “radical self-honesty”. A big time suck for me are sites like CopyBlogger.com I LOVE to learn and the advice is so relevant I can easily lose all track of time. I’ve had to schedule that time in my calendar to prevent sliding down the rabbit hole. Your tips and advice are a one-two-punch… loving reality check + start now, right here. Thanks Sydni!!

    • I think many folks can relate to how you feel Gina! We all struggle with time wasters that we actually enjoy. But you’ve described an easy solution. Build your time waster into your schedule! Thus you get to enjoy the activity and it doesn’t derail the rest of your day! Simple solution. 🙂

  6. Sydni – LOVE THIS! My personal theme for the year is COMMITMENT. To do everything I do all the way – and having an accountability partner that I connect with three times a week has been a big part of my staying on track and staying focused.

  7. Sydni, here’s my takeaway: reality check and create a SIMPLE marketing plan. I tend to get overwhelmed easily if I don’t break things into small, easy to do chunks. The long term goals are good to have, but I need just a simple, week by week set of steps that ultimately lead to accomplishing the big goals.

    Two weeks I had my reality check when I realized how little I had gotten done so far this year. So, I went into big time marketing mode and am starting to see results.

    Thanks for your great, simple advice.
    Amy

    • YES Amy! Simple is all that is needed. Sometimes we make our marketing too complicated by trying to do too much and WAY over thinking it. Success comes from simplicity and consistency. I appreciate how you made a shift in your perspective and are already seeing results. This proves that it doesn’t take a major overhaul to start making progress. It only requires a different thought process and making better decisions.

      Thanks for your comment!

  8. I make an effort to work more than 8 hours a day especially that my business has just started. I also make sure not to sacrifice my sleeping hours by working extra hours. I agree in being organized and having a plan of what I need to do each day.

    • That’s great Diborah! I appreciate that you said “I also make sure not to sacrifice my sleeping hours by working extra hours”. I made that mistake for a few years early in my business and it did not serve me well. I admire your commitment to yourself!

  9. I learned how important it is to budget some time especially when I started working at home. I am my own boss now and it is up to me to provide discipline to myself. The progress will be slow if I don’t perform a work intended to be done in a day.

    • Good for you Sandra! It takes some entrepreneurs YEARS to learn that lesson and they waste a lot of time and money as a result. Kudos to you for taking this to heart now. You’re already on the path to success! 🙂

  10. As always, Sydni, great information. My favorite point was when you pointed out that we need to own our past mistakes. Something that I see way too much of in this world is finger pointing. I get so frustrated because it seems like no one wants to take ownership of anything these days, unless of course it is good. When I had my CPA practice I always took ownership of what was rightly mine, good or bad. My clients seemed to find it refreshing.

    We are all human and we will make mistakes now and again. When we own them, we can learn from them and move on. If we don’t they tend to stick in our subconscious and we keep repeating it over and over again. Fabulous advice!!

    • Thanks Kristi! I really appreciate that point to. It can be hard to own up to where we’ve messed up, but once we acknowledge our mistakes, we can see clearly how to not repeat them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  2. […] I love this remark by Sydni Craig-Hart, “Nothing in your business will change unless you start changing the way you think about your business.” Read the rest of her sage advice in her recent post How to Change Your Bad Marketing Habits for Good. […]