Do You Have a Problem With Focus?

The ability to focus on a specific task for any length of time is a real problem for many marketers. For those working at home, it can be particularly difficult, as distractions are at every turn – even more than in a formal workplace.  Chances are, you will  be one of the many who spend hours being ‘busy’ with little in the way of leads or conversions to show at the end of the day.

Initially, it seems as though there is just so much to do – emails to check, social media to check, webinars and courses to check and before we know it the day has gone. The real stuff that is difficult, boring or outside our comfort zone is still waiting, taking its chance that it will be done in the morning.

Unfortunately, those unwanted tasks are often the ones that generate the leads and bring in the cash, so the issue does need to be addressed. Procrastination, is the death of any business and it is very easy to procrastinate when you are working on line. Distraction rules, without a doubt.

Procrastination ensures that you are:

NOT TAKING ACTION.

So what to do? We make a plan that keeps us focused.

looking for focus.One of the best things about a plan is that when we begin work in the morning, we know exactly what we are going to do. This lessens the risk of distraction right from the start. We can get down to work straight away. No temptation to have another cup of coffee while we make up our mind what to do first.

With no firm plan, we grab hold of all the ‘busy’ things that we decide need to be done and we flit from one job to another never actually completing a single task.

If the alternative is sitting blankly in front of the keyboard, wondering what on earth to blog about or how to word the letter you need to write to your list, then this can be a really attractive proposition.

 We are NOT going to let a lack of focus become a habit.

Firstly, we need to sort out our work day by prioritising our tasks. We need to be confident that when we do start work, we will be totally focused on the activities most important to our business. These will be anything that brings in leads and anything that brings in cash. Many marketers will insist that anything else is window dressing and of secondary importance. So you see, sorting your files on your computer or opening your mail are good things to do, but they MUST NOT be your priority. They  must not take you away from doing the important stuff that makes you money.

Even top marketers suffer here. Watch this video where Matt Lloyd addresses the problems he has with retaining focus in his work. It is full of ideas for dealing with the challenges inherent in working on line.

It is not difficult to think of strategies that can help. For instance, you could limit your time on social media platforms by making a timetable and sticking to it. Relationship marketing can make Facebook-time form a large part of your working day. Be careful it doesn’t become your whole day.

The average 147 emails that arrive in your in box every day can suck up time too. I suggest unsubscribing from the majority of the marketing lists you are on. They only tempt you to buy too many useless products, anyway.

I also recommend that you timetable your mail opening and answering times. You can advise your contacts that you will be dealing with your emails at a specified time each day and answering them then.

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The Dangers of On-going Education!

Those interested in continuing their education will like me, be suckers for courses and webinars. These are another drug in our market and are especially troublesome. Why? Because they give us a really great excuse for not taking action – ‘we do not yet understand what to do’, ‘we are not ready’, or ‘we just need a little more training before we start off’. Anathema!
Search around, talk to colleagues and join groups in your niche. You should find a maximum of two successful marketers that resonate with you. Follow them, learn all you can from them and as you develop your skills, move on to someone else who can answer your needs at that time. Read books by  famous marketers and motivators and learn general principles from them.

man-314424_1280For further information, you could read this blog from Hubspot which discusses this very subject. ‘How the Most Successful People Prioritize’
Written by Lindsay Kolowich | @lkolo25

Finally, remember:

  • focus is all-important
  • concentrate on money-making tasks, building and communicating with your list
  • make a daily plan and stick to it

To help you to develop your ability to focus and to encourage good work habits, you may like to consider using mind-maps.  These are excellent for clarifying your thoughts as they allow you to prioritise your tasks with increased efficiency.

    8 replies to "Find Focus – Stay Focused"

    • Samuel Ndungu

      Absolutely I find it particularly difficult to get focused even as I work from home. There’re many a distraction at every turn and so I have to daily set the goals for the day.. And as you say relationship marketing can make Facebook-time form a large part of your working day, I strive to make a daily plan and stick to it. Thank you for reminding of this very vital daily practice.

    • thewebwoman

      Even though, as a marketer and business person, I absolutely have to spend time on social media, but I limit it to a certain amount of time every day.  The same with email.  It is so easy to get distracted otherwise.  I also trim my email subscriptions about every couple of weeks to avoid the distraction of shiny objects.  I only keep subscriptions that give me real value in my business.

      Also, I organize my blogging time by choosing 4 weeks worth of topics once a month, which makes my blogging time more productive.

      I set daily goals and make a list every day. This keeps me focused and on track.

    • thewebwoman

      Even though, as a marketer and business person, I absolutely have to spend time on social media, but I limit it to a certain amount of time every day.  The same with email.  It is so easy to get distracted otherwise.  I also trim my email subscriptions about every couple of weeks to avoid the distraction of shiny objects.  I only keep subscriptions that give me real value in my business.

      Also, I organize my blogging time by choosing 4 weeks worth of topics once a month, which makes my blogging time more productive.

      I set daily goals and make a list every day. This keeps me focused and on track.

    • PaulDunstan

      Like Tony, I do need to check my email, because I have support tickets to deal with and I also have clients who reach me via email. I actually make money this way. However, Matt is right about all the other distractions. I DO spend too long looking at nonsense videos on FB. It is one of my failings!

    • tonyvwatson

      As a MOBE member I’ve watched this video before and the message certainly bears repetition. It is far too easy once you’re online to be diverted to something that catches your attention and then to waste ages on it. Personally I do always check my email when I log on simply because if I didn’t, there would be hundreds of emails to deal with at some time in the future but once I’ve done that it’s out of the way and I can concentrate on the task at hand.

    • BarbaraMoss

      I am positioned at MLR, Paul.

    • PaulConway

      I do love listening to Matt’s short punchy videos. What level are you postitioned at Barbara?

    • ChrissyWithers

      I always find there’s never enough time in the day, and emails and social media can definitely eat up the time if you let them.  Every day I write down the daily tasks I would like to complete and tick them off as I go.  I don’t always manage it but it definitely helps me stay a bit more focused than I would have. Great article!

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