There’s no prize for hot mess. No trophy most overwhelmed. And busy is a four-letter word. It’s time to get out of the rut and recognize when distractions in your life are alerting you to bigger problems.
Last week, the distractions that made me pause in my business, slow down, observe and absorb were an overcrowded email in box and scope creep. I cut out new emails by half. The beauty is, if I need those services again, all I have to do is sign up. I also paid attention to scope creep. Finding the balance between allowing flexibility with my clients and standing my ground on boundaries and then firming up my mindset around that – GOLD! You can find that episode/blog here.
Tune in to this episode:
The Third Distraction is Shiny Object Syndrome
Okay, forewarning! It’s soapbox time, right? I know you’ve heard me say it, but I don’t want you to be distracted by shiny object syndrome.
If anyone tells you that there is only one way to do something and that everyone else is wrong and you MUST do something right now, please let that be a red flag to you to stop, take serious pause and think carefully through your decision.
I think I’ve shared before my shiny object syndrome. My course, Ditch the Buzzwords was ready to go, in fact, I had soft launched it and did okay for my first try.
Then I got trapped in a shiny new object advertised on social media that went something like this,
“If you’re not doing your course through Facebook live, you’re doing it wrong.”
Well no one likes to hear they are doing it wrong!
So, I switched. And failed.
Don’t ignore your gut. I’m serious. I’m a data driven gal and I’m still telling you not to ignore your gut because your gut is a data point. It is the sum of all your experiences, knowledge, formal education, and mentorship. They ARE data points – why would you ignore that!
So how do you avoid SOS?
#1 – never make an immediate purchase.
Ignore the countdown timers. They are an evil device that targets your FOMO. TRUST me, if you need whatever it is they’re offering so badly that you feel like you have to have RIGHT NOW or you’ll lose all sense direction for your company, you either a)don’t have a foundational sense of your business or b) you really don’t need to buy it right now.
Now, I can hear you protesting – But I can save hundreds of dollars if I sign up right now!
Really? Do you really think you’re saving a ton of money? Think about it. We’re taught to price our services according to the value we’re bringing to the client. Then we’re taught by others to break down all the bonuses and offer people this over value at a severely discounted price. Why do we do this? I once attended a webinar where the host rounded up over $10,000 in “value” and then sold it for $99. Please, for the love of Pete, when you see someone give you a laundry list of value, then charge you pennies per value, it should be a red flag to pause, reflect, and decide. Do NOT impulse buy on these things.
What you should do instead:
- Pull out that strategic plan. What are this quarter’s or next quarters objectives?
- What projects do you have planned to accomplish these?
- Where in your budget will this fit? Even if it’s $50, if you didn’t budget for it, it is coming from somewhere.
- Look to see if others you trust also follow this person.
- If the product or service you’re looking at passes the muster after you’ve done this due diligence, then purchase away, but don’t give in to impulse buying!
But the One That Gets Me Most: A Full Mind
I’m sure this is the mantra of each generation, but never before have our minds been so tasked with keeping track of the stimulations around us.
Our minds are so full of our responsibilities, then crowded with outside messages, and demands for any downtime that we have that our brains never get a chance to rest.
And I’m an introvert, so this kind of full mind makes mistakes, makes me grumpy, and honestly, unhealthy in so many ways.
I’ve become the queen of compartmentalization, quickly discarding the information I don’t need or storing it in a memory drawer for later, and pulling only what is relevant for right now.
I started time blocking, but that doesn’t seem to work for my brain, which is peculiar since I love to schedule everything. BUT because I’ve set boundaries and values in my life that family first that their needs come before the needs of the business and their needs don’t always coincide with my desire to schedule all my learning at 6:00 on a Thursday. I have a 19 year old daughter with a serious boyfriend so if she’s home at 6:00 on a Tuesday, you bet your buns that I’m spending time with her regardless of what I have blocked to do during that time.
It is so crucial that you take a moment to think about how you are being distracted in your work and in your life.
If you’re saying to yourself, “But I can’t stop right now to do that,” I think it’s a sign that you need to stop and take inventory.
Think back to my episode on emotional maturity. It shows a lot of emotional intelligence to take stock of yourself – to notice where you need help and to seek that help. Whether you try breathing techniques, a date night with your spouse, a girl’s night out, or seek counseling, find an outlet that breaks up the to-do’s.
In other words, have a bit of fun!
- Schedule white space in your day – I am soooo guilty of this.
- Set aside at least 4 continuous hours in one day where you have absolutely nothing scheduled – not fun, not grocery shopping, but 4 complete hours of white space. Did you know that the top CEOs in the country do this? They set aside at least half a day on their weekends. I talk about this in my CEO Mindset episode so be sure and check that out.
- Do some creative writing. No one ever has to see it and don’t worry about your grammar. Here’s a writing prompt for you: in your search engine type ART: then type the first word that comes to you. Now write a short story about that art.
Doing this kind of activity when you are feeling stressed and task-driven will help engage the other side of your brain and reduce the stress you are feeling.
You know what else works? Power napping. Now, moms with littles, I apologize ahead of time about this because I know how hard it is to do this, but it is not impossible. I was a mom of littles as well and there were times I drug my pillow and blanket onto the living room floor and snuggled my kid with my eyes closed while she watched Bear in the Big Blue House #noshame. I am a HUGE believer in the 12 minute nap and hope you can find a way to work those in at least a couple times a week.
What are your distractions? How do you know when you’re distracted? Are you self-aware to recognize it and have the desire to turn it around? When you don’t see these distractions, you start making mistakes that lead to Big Hairy Inefficiencies in your business. I’m here to help. I’d love to talk to you about the distractions you’re facing in your business today and how we can resolve those. Let’s get you back on track.