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As a business owner, your own performance is paramount to success and ‘bad days’ can be costly – Richard Woodward reveals how stopping to regroup every now and then is not only good for your performance; it’s good for your business.

Active ImageOn a recent business trip, I asked my taxi driver how his day was going. In a lethargic tone he replied, “Today is not my day.” Even though he had just started his shift, he seemed resigned to writing off the whole day.

His comment made me think how many of us go through an hour, a day, a week or even longer with limiting thoughts impeding our performance. And in a competitive environment, can we afford to operate below our best for a prolonged period of time?

If you feel unproductive, below par, and it’s ‘not happening’ for you, stop and intervene. It’s better to take the time to change the way you feel and give yourself the opportunity to operate at a higher level of performance than attempt to plough on.

Here are some methods you may like to try:

Active ImageExercise: The most effective intervention for me is exercise, in particular swimming. After a swim my mind is clear, I feel good and I can perform at my best. And in answer to those thinking they don’t have time for exercise, I would rather lose an hour to exercise and interact with clients for five hours in a positive state, than interact with clients for six when I am not at my best. If the swim option isn’t accessible or desirable, try a less time-consuming exercise.
Play music: It’s widely accepted that different types of music can help you achieve different states. Whether you need to unwind after an intense meeting or need firing up to tackle a hard task, there’s a piece of music that will get you in the mood.
Read: Read inspiring quotations or a passage from an author that has experienced a similar path to one you want to travel.
Re-associate: Remind yourself of your vision and of what you want to achieve in your business. Similarly, re-associating with your achievements, such as making a list of what has gone well, not only helps you stay the course but has the bonus of giving a real boost to your morale.
Relocate: Move to a physical location that is more conducive to performance. For example, you could book a room or venue for a set period of time to work on specific projects and outcomes.Active Image

I hope some of these work for you. Give them a try and see which ones improve your performance. So next time you are feeling that it’s not your day, intervene and you are sure to get more out of the rest of the day. You can’t change the past, but you can choose to enhance your future.

* Richard Woodward helps businesses improve their performance. He is a regular contributor to the online magazine for solo business owners, www.flyingsolo.com.au

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