Thursday, October 1, 2009

3 Simple Ways to Deal With Distraction

A note from for Thursday October 1, 2009

Good day there everyone and welcome to a shining new month.

October is the month for Thanksgiving here in Canada, and we are certainly going to be addressing all of the topics around "thanks" during the month.

We're a little late getting the Reader out today because I (me, and nobody else) got distracted. To all of our benefits, we just happen to have a contribution that clearly address...

3 Simple Ways to Deal With Distraction
by Amy Franco

Right now I'm probably typical of many solo professionals.

There are at least 5 open tabs in my browser, Twitter notifications are blinking on my screen every 15 seconds or so, and I have several other to-do list items floating around in my mind.

Productive? Not really. It's difficult to pay attention to any one of those things, and I can feel my stress level rising.

The truth is, our brains aren't really wired for multi-tasking. The brain truly cannot pay attention to more than one task at a time, and perform that task well.

Yet so many of us are multi-taskers - and chances are the more you do it, the worse your results. What's really happening? You're probably dealing with stuff that just doesn't matter that much to your business.

So what are some simple ways to deal with distraction and re-train your brain?

Create a list of no more than three strategic items to accomplish each day. A never-ending list of action items creates a sense of failure and overwhelm. Instead, take 5-10 minutes and reflect on this question: What 3 things will move your business forward tomorrow? This forces you to be very thoughtful about what you want out of that next day, and you improve your odds of finishing that to-do list.

Create time blocks. This gives your brain a semblance of order and allows you to focus on one thing at a time. Time blocks for email, phone calls, social media, and internet research are especially effective. Out of those time-blocked tasks, can any be outsourced to a trusted assistant?

Create quiet time. When the brain becomes overwhelmed with too much activity, it's time to quiet it down. Movement is a great way to settle the brain. Take some scheduled time away each day for short breaks. This might be 15 minutes to take a walk, or to do something small around the house.

The true key to making these new behaviors a habit? Giving yourself permission to do fewer, but more meaningful tasks. If you talk to the truly successful people, they have trained their brain to tune out distractions to their business, and they say no more often than they say yes.

Four well-known entrepreneurs will share their how-to's on overcoming procrastination, self-doubt, distraction, and small thinking - things that can stop entrepreneurs in their tracks.

Even addressing one of these behaviors will make a difference in your business, and have a ripple event on other areas of your life!

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