“Monica, I feel totally out of integrity. I missed a deadline. Or I didn’t send that one thing.” If I had a coin for every time one of my clients said this to me…
Is being in integrity something you struggle with sometimes too? Good. Then you are officially human.
So what does integrity really mean? I think you’d get a different answer with every person you asked.
To me it’s quite simple. Do what you say you are going to do, when you said you were going to do it, how you said you were going to do it.
It’s also about keeping your word and doing for yourself what you tell others to do.
So when is the last time you were out of integrity? It shows up as:
- Missing deadlines
- Missing meetings
- Missing appointments
- Missing phone calls
- Missing payments
- Going back on agreements
For most of us humans, being in integrity all the time is impossible. There are weeks when we feel like we’re handling this well. And there are weeks when it feels like all is going awry. During those weeks we find ourselves feeling bad and apologizing left and right.
I had a chance to sit down and really think about what makes some weeks better than others in terms of being able to keep my word. And it all came together in one phrase: being organized. I realized that a lack of integrity comes from a lack of being organized.
We don’t mean to miss deadlines, be late or not keep our commitments – we just haven’t organized ourselves well enough to be able to perform at the level of our promises.
So what’s a business owner to do? Well first, be patient. Getting organized is always a work in progress, and it always will be. Second, get started. The more organized you become, the more success will follow.
Here are few tips to help you organize your business so that you can begin to do more of what you say, when you say it.
1. Use a project management system. Do you have your deadlines planned out anywhere? Do you know what you are supposed to be working on this week? Next week? The week after? If you don’t, then most likely you won’t keep a new promise that you make this week. Because if you don’t know what’s on your plate this week, how can you be sure you’ll get it all done?
Most of my private clients are using Teamwork PM or Asana to manage their projects. Both allow you to try the systems for free. Find one that works for you and stick to it.
2. Write down your goals and look at them daily. It’s very easy to say yes to a million things that you must get done when you don’t have your goals in front of you. But when you are crystal clear about what your goals are each day – then knowing exactly what you should be working on also becomes clear. And, you’ll be much more likely to say “No” to things that don’t fit into your schedule.
3. Delegate. The truth is that the bigger your business gets, the less likely you’ll be able to get everything done yourself. That’s why you need team. If you are still trying to do everything yourself – chances are that you are getting it done late or not at all.
4. Be Realistic. I learned a long time ago that keeping a to-do list was simply step one. The crucial step two is actually finding time in the calendar to get things DONE. Be aware that if you agree to do something you must: get it on your to-do list, and find a time to actually work on it.
If you can’t find a time to work on it during your normal business hours, don’t assume you’ll pull an all-nighter or an all-weekender. Because if you are over the age of 30, chances are that your body won’t let you!
It is far better to delegate, push back the deadline or decide that now isn’t the time to get it done.
Getting organized can solve so many “integrity” issues, let you sleep better at night and love the person you look at in the mirror. But just remember it’s always a work in progress! I hope these steps make your first and next step easier.© Copyright 2014 TextOnly'Admin