5 Things You Should Stop Doing to Be More Successful

I think it’s safe to say that most business owners work hard—and work a lot. They chase success all year long.

They have to-do lists a mile long and put a ton of pressure on themselves 365 days a year. It’s stressful, to say the least.

5 Things You Should Stop Doing to Be More Successful

But I heard this quote recently that has me thinking about doing less.

Warren Buffett said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say, ‘No,’ to almost everything.”

Interesting concept, right?

So, if you’re wondering how to be successful in business, let’s look at five things you should stop doing today.

Stop Multitasking

Value comes when you finish something. But when you’re multitasking and you stop halfway through a project, you are faced with the hurdle of picking it back up again. The trouble with multitasking is that it entails starting several different projects, but not really finishing them.

Think about it like this: You wouldn’t start feeding a child in a highchair while writing a blog post—neither activity would get the full attention it deserves. If you’re trying to concentrate on writing, you miss the child laughing and flinging food everywhere (and you’re not really present in that moment.) Attention is dispersed. See the problem?

Stop Checking Email

Checking email every five minutes means a distraction every five minutes. It’s constant defense—you’re letting your inbox dictate what you get done. You might be mid-project and BING! there’s your email, begging for your attention again. It’s disruptive to your workflow in a big way.

Rather than letting your email auto-update on your phone and computer, set a time each day (or a 2-3 times per day) that you decide you want to check email. That way, clients understand that you can only be in one place at one time (and don’t expect you to be on call for them.)

Stop Doing What Other People Can Do

You have special skills, but you’re probably not an expert of everything. (If you are, please email me because I want to know you.)

But when you’re trying to play accountant or graphic designer and your true talents lie elsewhere, you don’t typically execute those other activities very well. You’re robbing the world of your true genius. There is someone else who is an expert at those other things—and they should handle them for you.

Let people be experts within their own realms…and that means you, too. If someone else is better at something, let them do it for you. You don’t have to do it all.

Stop Perusing Cooperative Ventures

What I mean by cooperative ventures is those times when someone wants to co-market with you because you have a similar audience. So often, the reality of the situation is that the partner doesn’t know how to sell (or sell like you do), so they want you to do it for them.

There are exceptions, of course, but these relationships need to work in true partnership. For example, the partner finds a project and if there’s room for collaboration, you work together—and vice versa. No need for a complicated partnership where you list each other on your websites and confuse brands. Simple is best.

Stop Working All The Time

When I started my business, I saw people who would work from 6 am to 6 pm and then continue after dinner at home. But I was a single dad with kids, and I had to fit in their activities and pick-ups and drop offs. So I’d work from 8:30-4:30 and really maximize my work during those hours.

By shortening my working hours, I forced myself to be more productive. How much work could you cram in before finals? You can get a lot done under pressure and a tight deadline. If you put boundaries on your time, you can focus your priorities. No time to fall down the rabbit hole of the Internet.

How to Be Successful in Business: Stop the Madness

When it comes to these five different areas, you just have to slam the brakes and stop. And sooner is better than later. Success can come from saying no, just like Warren Buffet said. It’s time to start doing that.

The quicker you stop doing these things and get focused on what you really need to be doing, the quicker you’ll regain your sanity. I promise.

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When people ask you how to be successful in business, what do you recommend?

Kaleigh Moore

Kaleigh Moore is no stranger to small business. She's the Founder of Lumen -- a business that offers copywriting, social media services, and graphic design. When she's not contributing to the EnMast blog, you'll find her running or at the movies (because the running helps manage the movie snack consumption.) Connect with Kaleigh on Twitter, LinkedIn, or read her blog.

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