There’s an acronym that often comes up when talking about sales. “ABC” or “always be closing”. The idea is that if you’re always closing (i.e. selling), you’re always learning and improving.
Recently I found myself in a bit of a slump. Nothing seemed to be going right, and I felt flat and uninspired. I’d have plenty of ideas, but would end up spending time surfing the net or playing games, rather than doing something about them.
The cure turned out to be something rather simple. Create more.
When we create something new, we open up so many more opportunities than when we consume.
Creating something connects us. It opens up new avenues and feedback. Even if you create something that turns out to be a complete dud, you’re guaranteed to learn something from the experience.
Sometimes it can be difficult to get started. It’s so much easier to just browse another website under the excuse of “learning”, but you can learn so much more by creating something instead.
This isn’t to say that there isn’t a place for these things. Athletes can benefit from watching videos to improve their form. However, they will gain much more from a training session.
If you’re feeling in a slump, try creating something. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, but do it anyway. Make something, put it out in the world and learn from it.
Have you ever noticed how the first few hours after waking up can determine how you feel for the rest of the day? If you’ve ever found yourself saying "It’s going to be one of those days", you know exactly what I mean. A few bad experiences in the early hours can drag your whole day down, to the point where everything seems to be going wrong.
Here’s a few strategies for preventing this from happening.
1) Wake up earlier than you need to
If you travel any distance to work, it’s important to wake up earlier than you need to. A stressful drive to the office, or missing your bus by a few seconds can really ruin your day. Leave plenty of time for getting ready and eating. As a rule of thumb, if you don’t have time to eat a proper breakfast before working, you’re not leaving enough time.
2) Review your goals and task lists
The more in control of your life you feel, the happier you are. Keeping a close eye on your goals and tasks keeps everything fresh in your mind, and you’re much less likely to forget about them. Not only that, but it allows you to review things and to quickly spot troubles. And it puts you in a positive frame of mind.
3) Read your affirmations
Before I tried using affirmations, I thought they were a waste of time. However, having experimented with them I’ve found them to be an invaluable tool for improving my mood. Stick to two or three simple ones, such as “I have abundant energy” or “I make effective use of my time”.
Think of affirmations as a kind of mental scaffolding. They’re useful for keeping you internally positive and uplifted until you can change your external situation.
4) Read something uplifting
Rent autobiographies of people you admire from the library. When you come across a good article on the Internet, print it off and read it later. Not only will this help reduce the amount of time surfing the net, but it creates your own personal library that you can refer to time and again.
Keep a highlighter handy when you’re reading them, so you can mark any important points. Review these later and make your own set notes.
5) Listen to something uplifting
If reading isn’t your thing, rent some audiobooks or listen to podcasts. There’s a wealth of personal development podcasts out there, and the advantage is that you can do something else whilst listening to them. Such as exercise…
6) Do some exercise
Twenty to thirty minutes of simple exercises in the morning gets your blood flowing and improves your mood. It doesn’t have to be too strenuous, and some light skipping or a gently jog around your area is just as effective.
Remember what you’ve achieved
So you’ve been up for just over and hour, and you’ve already managed to review your goals, read your affirmations and done some exercise. Sounds much better than stuffing down a slice of toast and running for the train…