F.O.C.U.S. = ‘Follow One Course Until Success’
Ok, I totally nabbed that one from John Lee Dumas. It really resonates with me – a self-professed ‘Jack (Jane?) of all trades.’
I know I’m not the only one that struggles with how to stay focused on my goals. I also know I’m not the only one that struggles with ‘bright light syndrome’, which is the draining habit of trying to split your focus and attention across too many things at once. Sound familiar?!
This syndrome runs rampant in The Solopreneur Society, which isn’t surprising when you consider how natural it is for us entrepreneurial types to overextend ourselves in the name of getting a lot done.
Think about it…
You want (insert your top 3 actionable goals) and you want them ready to go by (insert your self-imposed deadline).
BUT, to get those done by then, you first need tackle 1,482 things on your ever growing to do list.
The truth is, trying to do everything at once is the quickest path to procrastination, stress, exhaustion and ultimately: burnout. All of which are where brands go to die!
In order to find your focus, it’s important that you understand (AND believe)…
There’s no time like RIGHT NOW to get started!
It doesn’t take years of mindfulness meditation (although that would be nice to have under your belt), certifiable skills, weeks of planning, or days of decision making.
A large part of struggles with focus stem from FEARS you’re not addressing.
‘What if I do this all wrong and have to start over again?’
‘What if something better comes along but I miss it because I already got it done?’
‘Maybe I should sit on this decision longer, because I’m just not ready!’
WRONG! No more of that bullshit, buttercup!
To help you bask in your productivity (and keep those fears in check), here are 4 quick & dirty ways to help you stay focused on your goals, so you can get MORE done.
THE DOMINO TEST
One of the most eye guzzling sights on earth is the collapse of a lengthy line of dominos.
(Unless it’s your younger sibling who set it off, of course.)
My girl, Chalene Johnson recommends first setting a ‘Push Goal’, which is a goal that ‘if achieved would make all (or most) of your other goals possible.’
This is a great technique to quickly figure out whether something is truly worth your full attention at the moment or if it’s just something you should but can’t let go of yet.
For example, is writing a blog post every week something that will directly result in making any or all of your other goals more attainable?
Will it help you reach any of your other goals, such as:
- Developing a writing style
- Growing an audience
- Building an email list
- Establishing authority
If you can say ‘yes, it does!’, it passes the Domino Test!
SETUP AN EXPERIMENT
Now it’s time for a mindset shift, so put your lab coat on!
Approaching a task in a scientific way can take a lot of self-sabotaging emotion out of picture. After all, if it’s an ‘experiment’, you can’t really fail, you just observe, test and adjust again and again until you get the result you were looking for.
Setting your experiment is as simple as:
- Setting a measurable goal/outcome
- Setting a realistic deadline to make your measurement
By setting a deadline WITH a measurable goal, you can now easily and quickly determine whether it’s time to tweak your factors and try again OR call it ‘done’ and move on to the next experiment on your to do list.
Bonus tip: Create a visual reminder to keep your goal and outcome at the forefront of your mind. That may come in the form of making a vision board, sticking a post-it to the fridge, or setting a wallpaper on your home-screen or desktop. Do whatever method works best for you. It’s all about eating, breathing and sleeping ONE super focused goal at a time.
TAKE 20 MINUTE WALK
Walking away and getting your heart rate up is the best free tool you have in the war on focus.
I know it might seem counter intuitive to take a break right when you’re at your busiest, and especially when you’re drowning in your massive to do list, but hear me out!
Walking is physiologically PROVEN to release stress, and clear your mind. If fact, most of my most brilliant ideas (ok, and some pretty terrible ones too) have occurred on my daily walks.
Stop saying you’re too busy to take a break and get your walk on. Why? Because you’re missing out on the benefits this little getaway can gift you.
If you give this technique a try, what you’ll find is that you’re at least twice more productive than you were BEFORE you took a breather.
If you do these walks daily, you’ll quickly find that your to do list starts to feel a lot LESS significant, and a lot MORE doable. It’s all about keeping razor focused, and that’s what short daily walks will gift you.
Bonus tip: Remember to ‘keep it real’ with yourself. Just because your focus is on this one specific thing now, don’t forget your razor focus is helping you get it done in record time so you can move on to the next specific task soon. It’s all about patience, yo!
SELF IMPOSED RESTRICTIONS
Is NO self control a problem you struggle with? It’s ok, ME too!
The best news is that there are apps made specifically for that. Seriously.
There are plenty of clever apps and plugins that allow you to physically restrain yourself from procrastinating or getting stuck on any less-important tasks as your work.
For example, Self Control is a recent obsession of mine that I’ve been playing with. I love it because 1,) it’s super simple 2,) it’s free. Boom!
Don’t feel like you have to do this alone. Let these apps help you find and bask in your focus. That’s exactly what they are there for!
Finding your focus doesn’t need to be ANOTHER thing to add to your ‘to do list’.
Get started on your journey to unstoppable solopreneur by using these four techniques to stay focused on your goals, which will help you get a LOT more done. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be mind blown by how much more you can actually get done when you’re not trying to tackle every damn thing at once!
Before you go, do me a favor and share what struggles you’ve had with focus and what things have helped you become a more productive boss!
Pretty please with a BIG ass high five on top? (nope, I’m not above a lil groveling)