I really need glasses but I don’t wear them. A vain thing, perhaps. So as it is I go through life squinting and not seeing things very well. I almost snubbed someone at the Wal-Mart yesterday, it is that bad. So maybe one of these days, I will do it, endure the smudgey lenses and nose pads that slip over my button-nose-bridge, the makeup that gets ruined. At least I can see.
For the past recent while, I had also been going about in my life professionally without figurative glasses. Life was a blur, full of distractions. Shiny things that pull me away from my path. I felt a little half-cocked as a ghostwriter, a novelist, and a mom. With so many ideas and so many open projects, I couldn’t get one thing done. Some days I felt like a hound dog out on the field. *Squirrel!*
Thankfully, someone reached out to me and gave me glasses, so to speak, so I can razor-sharp see and focus on my dreams. An amazing friend and four other people have opened their circle to include me in a Mastermind group that meets monthly. No, it’s not a villainous group of criminals plotting to take over the world. We’ve had one meeting so far and that was life-changing to me. At that meeting, we each made goals and shared how we would achieve them.
So these last two weeks, I’ve been doing things a little differently. They are not dramatic changes, but changes nonetheless:
1. I schedule and journal what I do with my time during the day.
2. I am getting more sleep by turning technology off after my husband and I walk the dogs late at night. No more Facebooking or getting sucked into cat videos.
3. I block out stretches of work time for my client books.
So far, so good. I’ve resisted the urge to start more books and have filed the ideas until I finish my present book projects. I am getting more sleep (not perfect in this regard, like when I pulled an all-nighter, but getting better). I have been able to focus much more on my client work and got a book draft done this past Friday. The best thing about scheduling the night before is, when I wake in the morning, I can resist the urge to hit the snooze alarm and roll back to sleep. I groan a bit, but I get myself going because I wrote my schedule and that piece of paper is keeping me honest and accountable to myself. It’s gotten so much better, some nights I put my feet up and read a good book (usually an inspiring self-help), a luxury I thought I could ill-afford in the past.
Here are my suggestions if you want to get back into focus on any aspect of your life:
1. Identify your dreams and set measurable goals to achieve them.
2. Eliminate things that don’t support this goal and keep chipping away at things that do.
3. Tell your family and a trusted circle of friends about your goal and ask for their support.
4. Turn off technology at night and sleep. You will be more refreshed and productive the next day.
5. Allow yourself to check something off your list even if it is not perfect or above and beyond. It is still done, and you have more time to accomplish other things.
6. Delegate. People love to be involved anyway. Resist the urge to micro-manage.
7. Celebrate little successes. Post it on Facebook. Tell your spouse. Splurge on a gumball. Reward progress.
8. If you mess up, as you inevitably will, allow a moment of disappointment, then shake it off. Don’t give up. Remember the times you did good.
9. Find the good in others. This will free you from negative emotions that can cripple or distract you.
10. If you have an idea that distracts you from your bigger goals, jot it down on a piece of paper and file it in an idea file. It will be safe there until you accomplish your more important projects.
How do you deal with distractions? What would you do differently to be more productive?