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Are you a stressedpreneur? I hear from them every day. What causes entrepreneurs to be stressed? The list includes…

  • Money issues
  • Too much to do and not enough hours in the day
  • Trying to do it all themselves and wearing too many hats
  • Not making self-care a priority or taking time to rest and recharge
  • Lack of planning and focus, which makes it nearly impossible to achieve goals or stay on track with projects
  • Unproductive habits that derail productivity, efficiency, and greater profit

That’s just a short list of the most common stressors, but each of those contribute greatly to overwhelm and potential burn out. Of those common sources of stress for business owners, perhaps the most important to consider is habits. Why? Because habits are likely at the heart of all of them.

So much of the stress we deal with as business owners circles around habits. Habits affect how we handle our time, daily operations, or work flow. They affect how we make decisions and plan (or don’t plan). They can even impact how we manage the money coming in, which can be the cause of cash-flow issues and lack of owner’s pay. Habits can linger and lurk in everything we do – often causing us to act on auto-pilot as those behaviors run beneath the surface and dictate what we do. 

If you took a moment to stop and really think about it, how much of what you do every day circles back to habits, as opposed to conscious decisions you’ve made about how you could be doing something more efficiently or better?

It’s a good question, and one I encourage all business owners to ask… especially if what you’re doing has you more in the category of stressedpreneur than thriving entrepreneur!

Paying attention to what you’re doing and WHY you’re doing it that way are important pieces of the productivity puzzle. If you’re running on auto-pilot, doing things the way you are just because you’ve always done them that way – and it’s not working for you – you may have a nagging feeling that something needs to change. Maybe you’re just not sure what needs to change. Acknowledging those unproductive habits that are holding you back can get you on the path to greater productivity and getting better results.

Cultivating successful habits to get results is a big topic of conversation these days. There are lots of articles out there touting the habits of famous, successful people that we should all strive to duplicate. You may find some nuggets of wisdom you can use by reading those articles, but this is really about you.

In his article Transform Your Life By Transforming Your Habits, Darius Foroux, a successful self-improvement blogger based in the Netherlands, points out that knowing what habits other successful people incorporate into their lives is good, but figuring out what habit changes will make the most difference for YOU is even better. That calls for some soul-searching and action on your part, but it doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking where you turn your whole life upside down at once. Small changes can add up too.

If you don’t believe small changes can make a difference, you should watch the interview I did recently with a dear friend and colleague, Lethia Owens of Game Changers International. In the interview, she talks about just how impactful marginal gains can be to successfully making the changes you want or need to make. Her discussion of The Power of 1% beautifully illustrates how even small changes can add up to big gains over time.  

Improving performance using the 1% philosophy and marginal gains is a concept that has been used by athletes, corporations, and individuals for years. And it’s definitely something that could make adopting new habits feel much more manageable, especially if you’re a stressedpreneur who already has a lot on their plate.

Foroux writes about choosing and starting with one thing. Owens shows how implementing a number of smaller changes can work too. But there are also other strategies you could consider to make the changes you want to make.

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Another strategy for adopting healthier, more productive habits might be goal-setting. Once you have some insight into which habits you’d like (or need) to change, you could set some S.M.A.R.T. goals with respect to new habits and changes. If you decide to go that route, you’ll want your S.M.A.R.T. goals for habit change to be Specific, Measurable and Meaningful, Achievable, Relevant and Realistic, and Time-Bound. Just remember, they say it can take a while to truly create new habits, so set your time-frame to take that into account.

So, what habits do you want or need to change to be more productive and profitable? How willing are you identify and start to implementing those habit changes? And which method will you choose? One thing to start with? Using the power of 1% and marginal gains? Or setting S.M.A.R.T. goals for the habits you want to change? Whichever you choose, put your plan in place and take action.

Making habit changes can be a challenge, but it is well worth the effort! If you’re a stressedpreneur, you don’t have to feel stuck in the storm. There are ways to go from stressed and overwhelmed to efficient and thriving. Transforming your unproductive habits into productive habits will transform your life – and your business! Just uncover what needs to change, then apply positive action to your insight… and you can go from stressedpreneur to productive, more profitable, and assured.