We make enough mistakes on our own through impatience, inattention, sloppiness, or just plain ole pig-headedness. Why add to your troubles with stupidity?
Seriously. While many of us are perfectionists, and hold our actions to high ideals, there’s no reason why our systems and processes should let us down or add to our disappointments.
Here’s a short list of four suggestions that may seem as plain as the nose on your face, but when you pay tribute to them, or be mindful of them, you’ll eliminate some major sources of freelance sabotage.
#1: Take care of your health. Sleep. Nutrition. Exercise. See? I told you this was elementary, so why do we ignore this; especially at this time of the year (cold & flu season)? Social Media bon vivant Gary Vaynerchuk recently suggested an outrageous regimen of work hours for people who want to get ahead that has been roundly opposed by anyone with common sense. Read John Westenberg.
#2 Rely on relationships. Humans are meant for this. I know. I’m an introvert, and would rather be in my man-cave, but time and time and time again over 65 years it’s been hammered into my brain that when I seek counsel, or conversation, or advice, or just the sound of another’s good sense, I do better — much better — than on my own.
#3 Take risks. Fail. Be Agile. Very little progress is EVER made without this point. I know failing seems to be a sort of sabotage, so why not just avoid failure? Because it’s the one sure way to success. I know…sounds odd, but until you chance something, you haven’t tried, or grown, or moved off the toadstool you’re sitting on. In others words, go for it!
#4 Read. Really Dave? Does this final suggestion really deserve its place in the pantheon of anti-sabotage? Most assuredly so. Maybe the best example is Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, both of who read voraciously daily. Warren Buffett claims to spend 80% of his day reading. Books, white papers, kindle, audiobooks, emails, blogs, popular media, podcasts, magazines, and online subscriptions all count…and more.
Honorable mention: “Nothing” time. Mindless time to space-out with the kids, or a video-game, or walking, or playing with the dog. Sleep does this too…but sometimes it needs to be an exercise when you’re conscious.
Need more? Here’s a great article on avoiding sabotage recently written by Jeff Shuey I heartily recommend.