The Value of Recording
As entrepreneurs, we are constantly striving for growth and self-improvement. Whether it’s streamlining processes, expanding our businesses, honing our skills, or working on personal development, we are always looking for ways to become better versions of ourselves. However, this can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially if we don’t have a clear direction or a set path to follow. But fear not! There is a simple yet powerful tool that can help us make progress on all of our goals: recording EVERYTHING.
I remember during my first sales job (highly recommended if you are going to start your own business as you are always in sales!), we had to record our calls with potential clients and listen back to them. This was, as you can imagine, an extremely painful experience, especially if you hate the sound of your own voice. The point was not to torture us believe it or not but to evaluate ourselves and see how many of the points we were being taught were being implemented and where we were going wrong. Often our perception is quite distorted so listening back sounded completely different to when I was in the actual conversation. This was quite surprising and it was hard to ignore flaws when you are confronted too aggressively by them.
Needless to say, I learnt a lot. This first lesson is to record everything; everything is measurable.
Towards the end of 2022, I was feeling very sluggish and demotivated and it seemed like I was doing a ton of work but not really getting anything done. So in January, a month, we all choose to start our good habits over again, I decided to start recording my work – what I did, every moment of the work day. Well did this shock me – it opened my eyes to a whole new reality. I wasn’t spending my time as productively as I had thought. I discovered that I was spending my time inefficiently, getting easily distracted, and falling into bad habits like task-switching. However, once I became aware of these patterns, I was able to make changes and become much more focused and productive.
There are so many reasons why recording yourself doing anything is a good idea, whether it’s exercise, public speaking, your work or your personal life. If you want to improve then you need to track yourself and your progress.
Firstly, you need to establish a baseline before you start trying to improve so that you have a point of reference. You can also try out different strategies and come back to your baseline to compare which is working better for you.
When you start tracking yourself, you start to create awareness. For example, if you want to start changing your spending habits, you need to be aware of how you are spending your money now. Oftentimes things become automated in our lives and bringing back awareness is an important part of the change.
Keeping focused can be difficult over long periods of time. As with anything that occurs over time, your tracking might show ups and downs. Don’t let this discourage you as progress often isn’t linear. Often when you go through a lower point it can be motivating to pick up your act and gear up.
Discovering patterns or problems will also be a part of the process. Constantly recording information will easily reveal these over time. It can tell you if you are doing something effectively or not and get rid of anything that is distracting you or leading you off track.
Creating and working towards milestones is also an integral part of setting goals, so how do you know if you are close to achieving your milestone if you don’t know where in the process you are? Information is power and gives you the upper hand.
To summarise, recording or tracking yourself:
· Creates awareness.
· Allows you to discover patterns or problems.
· Enables you to discover if you are using your time efficiently.
· Helps you avoid distractions.
· Keeps you on track for your milestones.
Trackers we recommend:
· Habit trackers for daily habits.
· Hubstaff for time tracking.
· A personal journal.
· Often banks integrate with budgeting tools – this is also great to make use of!
· If you’re doing presentations record yourself on your phone.
It’s important to remember that progress is not always linear, and we may experience ups and downs along the way. But this is all part of the process, and we should not be discouraged by setbacks. In fact, these can often be motivating and help us get back on track. By recording ourselves, we can discover patterns and problems, get rid of distractions, and work towards our milestones.