focus

The Real Reason It Takes You an Hour to do a 15 Minute Job

Your laundry’s been in the dryer for 3 days now. I mean, really. How hard is it to fold a load of clothes and put it away? If you focus on it, how long? 15 mins max? So why are they still sitting there? How many times will you turn on the fluff cycle to get the wrinkles out?

(I myself have done it as many as 4 times…) I hate putting away laundry. Hate. It.

So it sits there. And sits there. And sits there.

It's All the Same

Just like the outlines and the posts that are collecting digital dust because you haven’t finished anything you started.

It all boils down to focus.

If you focused, you’d be done.

So why don’t you focus? Stop standing in your own way. What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? Success?

Chop Away at the Crap Stopping Your Focus

1. Get over your fear.

When you don’t focus, it’s often because there’s a fear in your way. Maybe you’re afraid what you do won’t be good enough. Maybe you’re afraid you don’t “have all the information” yet. Maybe you’re afraid that you’ll actually succeed.

Maybe you just need to stop being afraid of anything.

Write down your fears. Free-write. No stopping. No hesitation. No EDITING. Just sit down and talk to the paper with your pen. Let it all out. When you’re done. Say thank you. Tell all your fears that you appreciate their need to protect you, but you don’t need them anymore.

You got this. Now. Burn or tear up those pages and feel yourself releasing the fears with the flames. You don’t need protecting anymore. You KNOW you will survive without them.

2. Remind yourself of your AWESOME.

You are a magnanimous human being. You are good at so much more than you give yourself credit for. Recognize your strengths AND your potentials and let them have the limelight a while.

Write down on a different piece of paper what it is that you want to become...in the affirmative. Always in the affirmative.

Brogan’s Brave and Chartrand’s Damn Fine Words taught me that I AM a good writer, I just had to believe it. I know...it sounds hokey as hell. But until you feel, in your soul, the bounty that is in you, no one else will.

Bring it to the light.

Write it. A LOT. Repeat it. A LOT. Out. Loud.

And I’m totally not kidding.

3. Promise yourself you can check Facebook when you’re done.

Maybe you have confidence, you just have Confidence with a side of ADD. That’s okay, too. You can still focus - for limited amounts of time.

The Pomodoro Method will let you focus for brief periods. The 90-minute rule says you need to keep it under that. So set a timer and get at it. Everything except the project at hand is off-limits until your timer dings. You know when you’re done, you can check your email, social, and your phone.

And if you’re not using a Pomodoro Timer, be sure to set your timer for your break, too. No cheating.

4. Use multiple projects to your advantage.

I joke about having ADD, but if you really do have it, having multiple projects can be a help instead of a hindrance. Use your need to flip back and forth to flip back and forth between those projects.

Set your timer, but set it for a short time. Use the original Pomodoro time of 25-minutes of focus with 15 minute breaks, but instead of breaks work on a different project for 15 minutes.

Then, after two Pomodoro cycles (80 minutes), you can check your phone, email, and social, if you want. You’ve now worked on 4 projects and have, hopefully, made a load of headway on each of them.

5. Strategy. USE IT!!!

Sun Tzu (yeah, it’s been months since you’ve heard his name from me) says that no battle is won if you don’t know your enemy (and yourself). The enemy is the grind. You have shit to crank out. Know what it is before you sit down to do it.

Set your strategy the night before. Review it the next morning. (Sleep really screws up our brains sometimes.)

I can sit down on Sunday and write out the entire week’s worth of crap that needs to be done. And by Tuesday, I won’t touch it. I was setting myself up for failure. So, now, I get an overview idea about what needs to happen throughout the week, but I lay the plan the night before, making sure I work the plan the next day.

Your business is not a game. Stop treating it that way. You owe it to yourself and to your profits to work faster, smarter, and more focused.