Do you have more ideas than you know what to do with? It can be a blessing and a curse at the same time.
It means you have a huge amount of creativity but if you are anything like me the next idea usually progresses before the previous one is finished. What makes it even worse is when I see this quality in other peoples it frustrates me beyond belief.
I always think to myself “let’s just finish what we’re working on before we throw ourselves into another project.”
I can see it from the other side too though. Sometimes you’ve been working on something for so long you need just a fresh train of thought so you throw yourself into something else. When you are working in a team it is a completely different situation. You can’t just decide you are going to start something else while everyone else is working towards the same goal.
I realised I needed to make a change when I started to get frustrated at myself. My thoughts and ideas were like pinballs and I would hit one back in the air just as I was finally getting stuck into it and move onto something else.
I was angry at myself because I constantly felt like I was getting nothing done and wasting a whole lot of time thinking about all the ideas in my head. An hour passes and realised I had taken no action in that time and moved further away from my goal and this was a continuing cycle.
That’s when I made the commitment to myself to break the cycle and blog every single day. I am proud to say it is still going strong, although I have hardly worked on any of my other projects, not because I haven’t wanted to but working 9am-5pm and getting 10,000 steps a day and writing a blog every day the time quickly passes you by. But I see this as an opportunity to organise my time better, get up earlier and utilize that time and really prioritize what needs to be done.
4 Ways To Stay Focused
1. Focus On One Thing At A Time
This is definitely easier said than done. If there is something that has been on your to-do-list forever, the project that is the big project that never seems to get started it is time to get out a paper and pen, yes right now! And getting your ideas down on paper to visualise what needs to happen.
There is a fantastic book by Gary Keller called The One Thing that really focuses on the advantages of remaining focused and the consequences if that focus waivers. I definitely recommend you have a read if like me you struggle with this at times.
2. Map Out Your Ideas
To stop those pinballs bouncing around in your head all it takes is some clarity. Write down your ideas and your goals and conceptualize them. Mind maps are a great way to do this. Personally I use a slightly modified mind map it is called a Lotus Mind Map.
The Lotus Mind Map is not only great for getting down your idea’s but it pushes you to expand on your current ideas to help fill the map out as much as possible. Having a visual aid really assists in narrowing your focus on an individual task. Having this narrow focus lets you take more consistent steps to achieve your goals to bring your idea to life
Rather than an idea that is constantly evolving and changing in your head you have a foundation in which you can expand on, add clarity and provide a great stepping stone for yourself to actually take action on what is now apparent.
3. Take Action!
When you have multiple ideas they constantly fight each other for your attention and your focus. What’s worse is that you spend more time shifting your focus on each idea that you never take action on any of them. It is time to break that trend. If you have an idea start to make it happen today! Throw yourself in the deep end.
When I started this blog I could think of every reason not to do it, my analytics weren’t working properly, I haven’t set up all the features of my website, I have no opt-in box, I wasn’t sure on the theme. When it came to my deadline which was my birthday I got back to the basics and forgot all about the glimmer and glam and just started writing. The writing wasn’t perfect I couldn’t add all the pretty images that I would have liked and it was well below perfect.
I knew I had to get over this concept of making everything perfect before it got released. It was holding me back. I see that now. Because if I was trying to make the blog perfect I would still be working on the presentation and I would still have no blog posts up at all.
Find the quickest and efficient way to start your goal and get to work! Just take action now.
4. Schedule Time To Work On It
Don’t leave it to chance to hoping you will have some free time in the day. Saying you’ll get something done when you have free time is not committing to anything. In fact I think it’s a form of procrastination.
One of the best tactics is to plan out your day the night before. If you are really strung for time, plan your day to the hour.
I start by writing a to-do-list of everything I need to get done and then start prioritizing them into time periods for the day. I always have a notepad close by because if I find myself not being overly productive I look at the notepad at what needs to be done, refocus and get back on track.
I really want to hear from you in the comments. What strategies do you use to stay focused? Do you use any of the above?