This is a really big one for me. My head is absolutely exploding with things I would like to do, my downfall is that I am interested in pretty much everything, I’m surrounded by inspirational people and I get all these project ideas that I want to do ‘one day’ and somehow never get round to doing.
To tell the truth, I am actually in the middle of writing another blog post but because I keep getting distracted I have started on this one instead to get it off my chest!
Maybe you are like me? Collecting things READY for when you are going to do that amazing project, and when I say collect, I mean anything from buttons, beads and fabric to physical brochures, online links, events schedules, pins on Pinterest, notes on Trello/Evernote, physical notes on actual pads of paper but equally lots of old envelopes etc etc. All hanging around in your ‘pilling system’ waiting for the day you will finally utilise them.
I am also guilty of subscribing to mailing lists and then hardly ever opening an email from that guru thinking ‘When I have time I will sit and go through all of them at once and learn every bit of advice they have, all at once.’ Occasionally the odd email subject headline will catch my eye before I swipe it to the right off of my phone screen and I will open it, maybe watch a quick video or read an article (I’m more of a visual person than a reader in fairness) and be reminded of one of the many things I want to do ‘one day.’
Now that I have a son my time is so limited. I have to try and shoehorn as much as possible into his two daily nap times and depending on where my husband is, sometimes I don’t even get to do that. So as you can imagine, being crippled by distractions really does literally stop me from achieving any one thing on my to-do list. I certainly don’t think that I am ‘Slight Edging’ my way to anything. All efforts are far too diluted to count as real progress. (The Slight Edge is a fab book, by the way, read more here.)
So what steps am I taking to tackle this issue?
Some of you may have heard of a default diary? Basically think back to when you were at School. On a Monday morning, you might have had double Maths. How often did you get your Science books out and conduct an experiment in the middle of Mrs. Brauns third attempt at explaining algebra? Never. So why is it that when we sit down to do some search engine optimisation do we get sidetracked by a blogger's fantastic article on modern feminism? Or when we are trying to concentrate on writing our own blog do we ‘just quickly look at this…’ then before we know it we have six tabs open on the laptop of things which we would love to know more about. I’ve actually left my laptop turned on for days with tabs open thinking I would read the content only to have to relent and shut it down eventually, or the battery dies and does it for me. And guess what, it’s more than likely stuff that is forgotten forever, but in a good way, I clearly didn’t need to know about whatever it was straight away, although interesting, it just wasn’t the right time for that to be part of my life.
Trello has helped a lot; I now have Trello open every time I have the computer open. It is actually the second time I have started to use Trello, I didn’t get on with it straight away but a handy YouTube tutorial has helped me utilise the features far more efficiently. Now if I see some flash of inspiration that I know I can use for my business in the future I can save it in the appropriate place on Trello so that when I have double Maths I can look under my Maths board and find all the task cards I need to make that a productive session.
Next, comes discipline, now we can all create a default diary but we need the discipline to stick to it. To only have the essential screens you are working on open, the phone turned to silent so it does not ping pinging its way into your allotted time like an annoying terrier yapping at your ankles for attention which you simply cannot ignore.
The next fantastic thing you can do is have an accountability system going on. My friends Jacquie, Rupal and I use Whatsapp and the same questions are asked/answered each day.
The questions about obstacles are a great way to identify and then mitigate all those things that can get in the way. Your mother in law called yesterday, today you will have your phone on silent or on charge in another room so you don’t get tempted to answer it. That kind of thing.
At the start of this post, you may remember I said I had been writing a different post? Since then my mother in law HAS called and I subsequently ended up doing a little research on children’s bicycle seats! And so the struggle continues.
Based on her own research, knowledge, personal and business experiences to date Polly writes regular blogs based on the themes of Health, Wealth and Happiness for Professional Spring. A support and networking community of like minded business women set up by Polly and her two friends Jacquie and Rupal.