Have you ever had one of those perfect solo-preneur days...
Your To Do list is crystal clear, prioritized and focused on all the High Payoff activities that will get you the results you dream of.
The phone is nice and quiet and no emails are peppering your computer.
You have few appointments that need you away from your office.
Sounds like a dream, doesn't it?
Have you ever had one of those days and still not gotten the things you need to done?
I've been faced with one of those days, well actually weeks, right now! For seven straight days I've been cycling in and out of the flu, with 100% laryngitis, alert enough to send people emails saying "Sorry! Let's touch base next week!"
All my coaching clients agreed to reschedule our work together and three prospective clients were very sympathetic and moved our calls as well. I love the people I attract to my work!
Meanwhile, here I am rattling around my international corporate headquarters, also known as my home, awake enough between bouts of medicine to feel I "oughta" get stuff done! I've been moping and muttering to myself about everything I'm not getting done.
Your Own Harshest Judge
Like most entrepreneurs and small business owners, I can be my own harshest judge about what I am and am not getting accomplished. I feel like I'm breaking my commitments to my vision and to the deadlines I set with my mastermind buddies. I've even had a few moments of self-criticism about whether I'm modeling what I should be for my coaching clients.
This time, as I floated up and out of my drug-induced haze I laughed about it. I know enough not to slip into a pity party - I've been hospitalized several times in my life and this is nowhere near that kind of external diversion! So when I was done laughing, I hauled my attention back under control, got focused and got practical about how to still get stuff accomplished.
Whether your distraction is internal or external the following tips will help you grab the reins and take control again before too much time slips past.
Pick one task, just one.
I have six things I said I'd get accomplished this past week. My current score? 10% on three of them, 20% on two of them and zero on the third. But I've been having a grand time beating myself up about not getting things done! So, I'm picking just one to get accomplished and taking my attention back from the rest of the list. And I'm picking the one that will get my the highest payoff for my effort.
Break it down into bite-sized pieces.
I settled on getting my newsletter out this week. I've been very committed to publishing it timely on Thursdays, getting it up on the blog and to the articles distributors as well. Each of the steps is actually only 5 to 15 minutes of work and attention. While I love working through them all in a stream, I recognize that this time I'm doing one step, pausing to see if I have the attention for the next or not. If I need the break I take it. If not, on to the next step!
Do each step to completion.
Is this how your mind works, too? As I do one task, ideas about three other ones leap into focus as the 'perfect' solutions that I just have to act on now! I don't let them pull my attention away. I just make a note of the idea on the To Do list and come straight back to the task at hand. As I count the steps associated with getting my newsletter done there are 20. I've done 3, and actually writing this article is number 4 so I'm making headway here and it feels great as each one is checked off.
Appreciate what you are getting accomplished.
A year ago the newsletter was an idea I was passionate about. Eight months ago it launched. I've published an issue every week since then and received rave reviews from colleagues, clients and the public that have appreciated the stories, ideas and practical tips.
Set aside what will not get accomplished.
For the past 32 weeks, I've recorded an audio version of the article and added it to the newsletter. I've only missed doing it twice due to travel. Laryngitis. I'd say it's going to win! If there's no audio link on this newsletter you'll know I did indeed allow myself the grace to regretfully not include it. And I moved on to the next step needing my attention.
So I invite you to join me in breaking through what has your attention distracted today. I'm going to go finish this great business building activity and then take the next item on my To Do list and repeat the process. Join in!
About the author: Management expert, consultant, and coach Linda Feinholz is "Your High payoff Catalyst." Linda publishes the free weekly newsletter The Spark! to subscribers world-wide and delivers targeted solutions, practical skills and simple ways to build your business. If you're ready to focus on your High Payoff activities, accelerate your results and have more fun at it, get your FREE tips like these visit her site at Your High Payoff Catalyst.