Sometimes we just really have to get stuff done. For some of us who work for ourselves and have flexible schedules, it might take real discipline to sit down and work on our projects. Procrastination is HUGE among entrepreneurs!
Here are 6 tips to beat the constant distractions and get to work:
1) Turn off all electronics You WILL be ok without your phone, facebook, Instagram and e-mail. Really. Turn it off. I noticed that I turn into anxiety mode for the first few minutes – I might miss something! It’s called FOMO (fear of missing out) – and then I could go on for hours without electronics. It’s very relaxing and I can finally focus and really get in the zone.
2) Know your structure for success Play music, use ear plugs, sit in your favorite coffee shop surrounded by a flock of other entrepreneurs getting stuff done… KNOW where and how you are the most productive. It helps me to sit among others who are working, it’s almost like there is some accountability going on. At least they will know if I fool around messaging my Facebook friends, or if I am in fact working.
If being watched by strangers isn’t enough pressure for you, find some like-minded people for an actual accountability game. Meet and work together for a few hours each day, or be in touch by e-mail/text in the morning, setting goals and making promises, and hold each other accountable.
3) Most impactful things first As a business owner, there are always a multitude of tasks, important ones, urgent ones, necessary ones. Be clear on what the most IMPACTFUL ones are – the ones that really make a difference for growing your business. Always do those first. If you have time after that, do urgent and other important tasks as well.
4) Set a timer Prepare to work for 4 times 25 minutes. The human brain takes 20 minutes to get focused on a task the first time you sit down. Set your timer and take short (3-5 minutes) breaks after each 25 minutes. After a block of 4 times 25 minutes, take a longer break (20-30 minutes), then go back for another block.
The mountain of work in front of you and the time you will need to spend on it don’t seem so daunting and insurmountable. How do you eat an elephant? “One bite at a time.” (Who came up with that? Who eats elephants?? Just sayin’. It’s a good metaphor…)
5) Get your emotions out of the way This is huge! I often hear this from clients who are stopped because of various fears of failing or being too visible (out in the open) while promoting their businesses. So hear this: You are worthy and enough! You are deserving of success! You have a responsibility to share your technology, your system, your services with the world! You are needed and wanted!
Consider that the emotions that are holding you back from playing full out are just a function of your survival mechanisms. Those mechanisms were important once, about a million years ago when we had to be careful not to step on a snake (no hospitals/anti-venom) or bump into a sleeping saber tooth tiger (instant death). We haven’t changed much since then, DNA-wise. But today in this day and age those same mechanisms are crippling you! They don’t serve much of a purpose anymore. Most of our daily fears are unrealistic and made up!
How do you get your emotions out of the way? Write them down on a piece of paper, then shred the paper. Or include it in your daily message to your accountability buddy: “I am giving up” – insert what doesn’t serve you anymore -“…” Done. Then focus your attention on actions that will move you forward.
6) Honor your word Once you gave your word to do something, honor it. Do not try to wiggle your way out of a commitment, it doesn’t serve you and it doesn’t honor you. Find a way to honor your word, unless the original commitment doesn’t serve you anymore and you need to rethink your path and change it. Do what it takes to honor your word, it will give you a world of power! (Because your word creates your world 🙂