How to focus on the important stuff

I’ve just had a phone call with a client. It is a familiar discussion: she can do all the things for her own clients but seemingly not for her own business where it matters the most.

We can all find this to be true. That it is easier to get it right for others when we are being paid to get it right but cut the corners for ourselves because it can seem overwhelming. We know what we need to do but just not where to start or what to prioritise first.

This is more prominent when we start the year, set our goals and develop our strategies to achieve them. I’ve had the same conversation myself with my business coach. Too many things to do and now knowing where to start. So very often it is easier to not start at all.

Here are a few ways you can keep your focus and momentum when you feel you’re being dragged in several directions at once:

  1. Pick one goal - do not try do all the things. Just try do one thing really well. One goal for your first quarter. Focus on that and only that.

  2. Don’t get distracted - I have a particular client who told me last year to not let her get distracted by the shiny new things. So every time she has a brilliant idea, I ask her if she’s achieved her goal with her last idea. Sure, the new idea is brilliant and yes I do think it would be a success but that’s not her goal, it isn’t what she really wants to do. It is a distraction. I’ve learned from this that it is easy to start things, less so to reach the end. Those shiny, new ideas will drag you in many directions but the one thing you want to achieve needs that time and attention.

  3. Don’t compare - so what if your competition is nailing ALL THE PLATFORMS. They might have an army of staff working around the clock for them. They might have sacrificed time that you are not willing to. And anyway, who cares? Their business is not your business. Get great at the things you are doing first and then add in something else that brings you joy.

  4. Break your goal down - it is easier to do one small thing each day than try and cram everything into a couple of days. If you want to launch a product, make step one be some market research or spending a couple of hours planning out your social media calendar.

  5. Plan - It is very easy to get lost in the planning and never start the doing but likewise, if you don’t plan then you won’t move forward. I use a project management tool. I open it before my email each day and I know what I need to achieve every day. Tasks broken down, distractions ignored.

  6. Ask someone to do it for you - seriously, when you can’t see where you should focus or where to start, brain dumping on someone who then comes back with a neat little to-do list is absolutely priceless. Often another perspective is all that is needed to get a some focus.

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