Staying Focused

Summer is in the air and it is very easy to get distracted. Planning your summer vacation or thinking about the cookouts? I know that for me, it doesn’t matter if it is summer, fall, winter, or spring; it’s very easy to lose focus. You can’t run a successful business if you keep losing your focus. I have tried a several things to keep my focus on the task at hand and the things that work for me the best are making a list, mind maps, and breaks.

Make a List:

Writing things down is very important for me. It keeps me organized, I know what I have already completed and what I need to work on next. I love making lists and crossing things off; sometimes I even write down things just to mark it off. Apart from keeping me organized, it gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Feeling accomplished is very important part of staying focused. When I spend hours doing something and don’t accomplish anything, that’s when I feel down and lose my focus. But then I have a list, it is very easy to see the things that have already been completed. Normally I do a quick pat on the back and move on to the next thing.

Mind Maps:

I use mind maps to organize my ideas. I was introduced to mind maps by John Thornhill. It is a great way to organize your ideas while your creative juices are flowing. Mind maps also help you create your task list. You start off with your product name or any other problem in the middle of the page. Major categories with associated ideas or related concepts are branched off the main idea. This helps me clearly map out what I need to do to make any product successful.

The first 30 mins of my day I normally start by creating mind maps for new product or project ideas. At first, mind maps were very confusing to me but now I can’t live without them. John does an excellent job of explaining them and teaching you how to use them. Today, I end up making a mind map for almost everything.

Take a Break:

Taking breaks is very important. However, taking a break doesn’t just mean go for coffee. If you are stuck on some part, for example you have hit a writes block and can no longer think about the topic of your next article. It’s ok to take a break and go do something else. I have seen many people use this as an escape goat. ‘Oh I can’t think of anything now so let me go watch TV for 1 hour and come try it again.’ It does work sometimes, but I know many people never come back after that 1 hour. I know because I have done it myself.

If you are stuck with one aspect of your business, move on to another. Work on your blog or visit a forum and see what’s going on that day. Visit other people’s blogs and make comments on their posts. You never know, but by visiting forums and other blogs, you can get ideas that will help you with what you are stuck on.

Many people have different working styles and what motivates you to stay focused might be different than what motivates me. Give these tools a try if you are having a hard time staying focused. You never know what will work for you. In the end, it all boils down to this…stop being lazy and get to work!

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