No 8 in my decade of solo business learning is – You need FOCUS to work for yourself. There’s lots of bright shiny objects to distract you, all cunningly disguised as being a busy business owner!
When I wrote this, I was reflecting on distraction, and how easy it is to go down a rabbit hole when you work for yourself. Afterall, the freedom of working for yourself is not having to be accountable to anyone else, and the challenge of working for yourself, is not having to be accountable to anyone else!
When I talk about overwhelm (bear with me, there is relevance) I most often talk about #JustOneThing. It’s the planning tool that I’ve found to be most effective and it’s the number one thing that gets me through overwhelm. If you’ve looked at the VIP Business Bounty Treasure Chest or any of my programmes, you’ll recognise the hashtag as I use it all the time.
This approach has helped me exponentially with staying focused. To the point that when I’ve finished my #JustOneThing, I often have a period of floundering whilst I establish my next point of focus!
But what occurred to me this week, and why it’s taken so long I’m just not sure, is that #JustOneThing is also the answer to another of the issues I often discuss with Solo Business Owners: Shiny Object Syndrome!
You know the thing, you’re happily getting on with, whatever was on your list, and something pops up in your inbox or in your social media feeds. Before you know it, an hour has gone by and you’ve lost track of what you were doing, and you’ve added 400 things to your ‘To Do’ list all from the shiny object research.
I think what helped me make the link was a couple of podcasts I listened to.
In one I was reminded about consistency. Turning up every day or every week without fail. It linked perfectly for me to last week’s blog about mastery of what you do or how you do it with consistent and focussed effort.
And the other one was about keeping it simple; making you and your business about #JustOneThing. As I reflected on this, I realised it was not only the answer to overwhelm but also almost every instance of shiny object syndrome.
If you know what your #JustOneThing is, and before you hit the link (or shiny object) you ask the question, “Does this further my quest for mastery in my #JustOneThing?” How much time would you save not going down rabbit holes?
That’s a lot of questions, so here’s the summary:
1. Firstly, are you clear on your #JustOneThing?
2. Secondly if you were to review your activity, can you see how EVERYTHING you do relates to your #JustOneThing?
2.5 If the answer to the question above is “No” can you do something about it?
3. Finally, do you hold every NEW opportunity up against the question “How does this take forward my #JustOneThing?”
Focus is a habit built from these 3.5 questions. I’m not suggesting you don’t explore new avenues or remain open to new opportunities, all of the initiatives I launched in January stemmed from an openness to try new things. But equally, they all stand up to the test question “Does this take forward my #JustOneThing?”
So, my final question, are you going to be brave enough to ask yourself the questions above and build up a habit of focus?