I find that New Year’s resolutions do little for my personal development and growth – I forget them too quickly! So, rather than have a New Year’s resolution I decided to have a theme for the year and that theme is “focus”. As I’m interested in all sorts of things, I find it easy to get pulled in lots of different directions. For me, focus means working on one thing at a time and seeing it through, rather than “multi-tasking” which is usually an excuse to be juggling lots of things at once but never seeing anything through to fruition.
Unfortunately, the year hasn’t started well! We’re only at the 2nd of January and the theme was not much in evidence today! I’m like kids in a sweetshop (candy store for you Americans) where the Internet is concerned. I decided to spend the day learning more about SEO but have been all over the net, clicking on hyperlinks that looked like fun. I forgot to focus!
Social Media Distractions
There’s so much enticing and exciting stuff out there, new WordPress themes, plugins, forums to explore etc. That’s without even opening my Google Reader or visiting my usual haunts! Five pm and I’ve only read one, 18 page pdf on SEO; the rest of the time was spent “researching”. I need to focus and work smarter, not fritter away my time . For me, that means learning to focus on one thing at a time.
It’s not just on-line. I usually have several books on the go at once, as a topic seizes my interest. Unfortunately, this often means I don’t finish many of them. The same problem with writing. For example, I know that if I focus on creating an e-book, I can get one written, edited and published in less than 5 days. What tends to happen is I start, get halfway through, then think of another project I “just have to start” . The end result? Neither of them ever reaches completion! I need to develop focus.
How to Develop Focus
But how? The Indian proverb tells us that the best way to eat an elephant is one mouthful at a time, so I guess starting with small things makes sense. I’m going to start by changing a few habits; instead of working organically (which in my case means disorganised chaos) I need a plan, with some priorities to focus on. For example, I could allocate an hour a day to catching up with things in my Reader; I could also set aside time for linkedin and ecademy rather than drifting in and out of them every hour.
Most of all, I need to decide what is a worthwhile use of my time and what is a distraction. I cannot be an active member of many networking sites; I believe in quality of contacts, not quantity. This means replying to posts, to personal messages etc. I don’t see how people can sustain active membership in lots of sites, not if they have a job to do as well.
Please, help me out here: what are your tips for developing focus, bearing in mind it’s not something that comes naturally to me?