After I was done with college, I’ve always struggled with staying focused on my own businesses, websites and various projects. When you don’t HAVE to wake up early in the morning and work, sometimes you don’t.
I’ve always had some sort of excuse for not working or being distracted. Even my recent stint at the loft was mainly an effort to be more productive. At one point I blamed the place I was living for being “too boring” and not stimulating enough, and then in another place I blamed it for being “too distracting.”
I would often go to coffee shops or various places to “Liven up the atmosphere” to get more work done, but most of the time the difference between staying home and going elsewhere was very little…and when you go elsewhere, it often means transportation time, buying coffee, being distracted by happenings around you, making a stop to a restaurant for lunch etc. etc. etc..
After a while of doing this and only being semi-productive each day, I got used to not doing much work each day. So what I THINK is a lot of work really isn’t even 3 solid hours worth.
So as of the last few weeks I’ve come to the stark realization that there is no substitute for plain, dumb, hard work. All the people I’ve seen who’ve really accomplished something have simply just worked harder than the rest. The big trend in business books now is to say “Don’t work hard, work smart.” From what I’ve seen, most people who’ve achieved greatness have done both at the same time.
Of all the little tips and tricks and motivators I’ve used over the years, the only one I’ve stuck to for a substantial length of time is making a to-do list the night before. So if it’s Wednesday night right now, I should already be whipping up Thursday’s to-do list.