Finding Your Focus
The entrepreneur’s brain is a wonderful thing. Always full of energy and ideas and always, always working. Ever have trouble sleeping at night because so many light bulbs keep popping up over your head? That’s me! Another pitfall, besides the loss of beauty sleep, is that too many of these wonderful ideas clutter our focus and push us off track. This happens to me, too. But I’ve worked out a way to push through and find that laser focus that is so essential to productivity and success – no matter what you do.
And it works! Well, most of the time anyway. And I’m going to share my method with you below. And sometimes, well, it’s healthy to give in to distraction. Like when my Maltipoo, Bella, wants to play. A little play is always good for the soul.
I bet a lot of you reading this have a to-do list sitting somewhere near you right now. Or a pile of them, depending on your method of organization. My old method I called “organized chaos.” It’s how a stylist referred to my hairdo back in the 90’s and I loved the idea. That was fine when I was working for a corporation and had someone making lists for me and handing me tasks each day. I did the work, turned it in and presto!, we’re good. But now that I own my own business, I find that organized chaos is holding me back. And so I’ve found some methods – some of my own design and some gleaned from systems solutions experts – to help me get my laser focus back, realize greater productivity and enjoy the bliss that comes from accomplishing more in less time.
1. Bigger is Better: I’m taking about lists here. Have you seen those amazing super-huge Post It easel pad sheets? I highly recommend these. Big thoughts deserve big notes and you’ll not get much bigger than these. Like giant post-its that stick to anything, you can use these to create master to-do lists that keep your top priorities, brainstorms and super ideas all visually top-of-mind and ready at a moment’s glance in your office.
2. Prioritizing Is Cool: Seriously, when my to-do list gets intimida
ting, I go back to grade school and start with my 1,2,3s. I prioritize them and then I stick to those priorities. Starting with #1 and not moving on to the next until I’ve devoted time and finished that first step. I’ve had lists of writing assignments that brought me to tears when I started my day. But by taking this simple approach, I’ve accomplished amazing results and been able to really focus on my tasks appropriately.
3. Learn to Just Say No: Close your Outlook, log off Facebook and Twitter and focus on the task at hand. No, I didn’t say minimize. You’ll just be tempted when you hear that Outlook chime saying you have mail or an instant message pops up from your best bud. Just say no to distractions around you – be brutal about it. E-mail and Facebook can wait an hour or two.
4. Push Through the Hard Times and Believe in Yourself. Maybe you have a hard task ahead of you that you keep procrastinating; you’re nervous about or just plain scared to start. First, set up for that task. Then take a quiet moment to sit with your eyes closed, breathe deeply and think to yourself: I can do this; I am talented; I will knock their socks off; this will be work that I am proud of. Open your eyes and fueled by the positive and motivating mantras you’ve just recited get started. Or, as one of my favorite clients says “Just Frickin’ Do It!”