I’m always seeing quotes or posts telling people in business to be consistent:
“To be successful, you have to be consistent” Unknown
“Consistency is the key. If you can’t be consistent, then you can’t be anything” Tony Gaskins
“If you want to be successful, you need consistency and if you don’t have it, you’ve got no chance.” Paul Merson
That’s great then, just be consistent and you’ll be a success, you’ll be able to do anything you like, and you’ll have a chance! But what does it mean to be consistent? How can you be consistent?
This week’s blog post takes this fabulous ‘buzz word’ that we see everywhere – and finds out about it in a bit more detail…
What is consistency?
The Cambridge Dictionary defines consistency as ‘the quality of always behaving or performing in a similar way, or of always happening in a similar way.’
That sounds straight forward, right? But to be consistent in business takes time and effort. To be consistent you must constantly replicate positive behaviour or performance every day, until it becomes second nature – until it becomes a habit.
How to be consistent?
Being consistent in business isn’t just about posting every day on social media, it’s the whole performance of your business. It’s about being organised and working on things that work best for you and your business.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Use a planner
- Use an online planner, a diary, or a notebook to plan your day. Write down the times of meetings
- Keep a to-do list – things you MUST do today, and things that it would be good to do today. Work through them one task at a time. Multi-tasking can be distracting and time consuming, and very often, none of the tasks get completed.
- Jot down any ideas that spring to mind during the day
- Include time to eat and time to do something for you – it might be a short walk at lunchtime, or yoga or meditation time before you start work. Whatever you choose factor this into your day.
- At the end of the day, write down the most important tasks that you must complete the following day. Put them in order of importance/urgency, so when you work through your list, you are doing the most important task first.
- I have gotten into the habit of planning my content (roughly) a month in advance. I then know what blogs I will write and what posts I will want to do to compliment the blog.
Have a schedule
When you work for someone else, your day has structure, and you work to a schedule. If you get into the habit of doing this when you work from home, you will get more done and be more consistent.
Have a set time to work and a set time to have lunch or rest. And always try to have a cut off time, so you’re not working stupid hours into the evening or at weekends.
Many of us want to work from home for ourselves so that we get more work/life balance. Often you will find you have less of this, and more stress, so it’s important to keep to a routine that works for you.
Ensure your goals are SMART
When you are setting goals for your business, make sure that they are SMART.
SPECIFIC – MEASURABLE – ACHIEVEABLE – RELEVANT – TIMELY
You can find out more about this in one of my previous blogs – click here.
Focus on one thing at a time
I’ve mentioned this briefly already but try to focus on one task or goal at a time. Don’t make things harder for yourself by trying to do too much at once. If the goal you’re working on is too much or too overwhelming, cut it down into smaller, more manageable chunks and work on those, one at a time.
Get rid of distractions
When you’re trying to concentrate on one task, particularly if the task is really needed but a bit dull, it’s easy to be distracted. If you recognise that you are easily distracted, try to remove those distractions.
For me, email and social media are my biggest distractions. If I can see that someone has messaged me or that I’ve received an email, I can’t resist ‘just’ looking at it to make sure it’s not important. So, when I’m writing or working on something that needs a lot of concentration, I switch off my emails on my desktop (which is where I work) and put my phone/iPad on silent and put it away from where I’m working so I can’t see it…or I just switch them off. I also unplug my landline as I get too many cold calls and find them so irritating, they become a distraction.
Now I can concentrate as I won’t hear the ‘ping’ of a new message, nor will I see one.
Personally, I like silence when I’m writing or doing something that needs me to really concentrate, but when I’m doing the more regular stuff that I’m used to, or something that is almost second nature, I like to have music in the background. You may be different and may need noise to concentrate. Just do whatever works best for you.
You might think that this is strange one if we’re talking about consistency, but if you’re hungry, thirsty, or uncomfortable, you won’t be able to concentrate on your work.
- Choose a comfortable, light space to work in.
- Eat at regular times so you’re not hungry.
- Have a bottle of water handy, or your favourite drink, so you can just reach for it if you need it.
Automate when you can
I’m talking mainly about social media here…and for me, blog writing. I tend to batch create my posts (and those of my clients), for the following week. I usually do this towards the end of the week. It takes me a couple of hours to plan the following week’s messages and posts, decide what I’m going to post on what platform and what day, then create the posts.
Then I spend some time scheduling the posts, so I don’t have to worry too much about them during the week. I only schedule one a day, but sometimes I think of something else during the day and I’ll post that manually.
I do the same for blog writing – I tend to write a couple at a time, and I always have one in reserve in case something happens, and I need to post something quickly or change the blog post I’d planned.
Celebrate every win!
No matter how big or how small, celebrate those wins. Celebrating your achievements will make you feel good about yourself and your business and give you a well-earned boost. And shout about it – share those wins with your followers. Happiness and enthusiasm are contagious and you’re sure to brighten up someone’s day – as well as your own.
Along with this comes….
Forgive your failures
We’re all human and none of us is perfect. Being consistent isn’t easy and does require time and effort. If you fall off the wagon from time to time, don’t fret about it. You will get tired, you will sometimes feel like you can’t be bothered, but that’s OK. It’s normal to feel like this.
However, what WILL keep you consistent is recognising this, taking a deep breath, and getting back on track as quickly as possible. Forgive yourself and move on!
These are just some ideas to help you become more consistent and stay that way. Consistency breeds trust: people recognise that you are dependable and to some extent, predictable (in a good way!)
Above all, look after yourself. Make sure you eat and drink regularly – and take a break to get some fresh air every day.
If you need help with any aspect I’ve talked about in this post, feel free to message or email me. I offer a free 30-minute consultation.