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It pretty much sums up my first go-around with blogging.
I tried to do all the things and fell way short. So I got frustrated and gave up on blogging altogether.
So yeah, I know all about what it’s like to feel scattered and distracted when you’re trying to build a new business.
That’s why I’ve got some tips to help you find your focus so you can zero in on exactly what you need to be doing to grow your business or blog.
(And if you haven’t gotten around to the starting-a-blog bit yet, check out this step by step guide for getting started with Siteground. They’re awesome and you can get your blog up and running today for as little as $3.95 per month!)
Why the Struggle to Find Your Focus Is Real
There are a lot of things that can keep you from getting ahead when you’re in the early stages of building a business.
But really, it all comes down to not having a plan and/or allowing yourself to be distracted by things that don’t matter.
You know what I mean, right?
Your mind is screaming that you need to do all the things.
“Omg, I need to get my website up like yesterday!”
“I’ve got to set up my social media accounts so I can start building my brand.”
“I can’t launch my blog until I have at least 20 perfectly polished posts ready to go.”
“I’ve got to choose THE perfect domain name for my website and craft a super-snazzy logo to go with it.”
“I better download some stock photos and start working on images so I can build up a Pinterest following.”
“I need to create an awesome lead magnet and start building my email list.”
And the list goes on and on and on.
It sucks, right?
And it’s just plain bad news for your business.
What Happens When You Can’t Get Focused
It’s pretty simple, actually.
Letting yourself get distracted keeps you from zeroing in on what’s most important for starting and growing your business.
Here’s what happens as a result:
It’s almost impossible to be productive
You start on one thing, then another and before you know it, you’ve got a pile of half-finished tasks hanging around.
If you want to be more productive, you have to fully find your focus instead of doing things halfway.
You’re not fully invested in anything
When your attention is spread across so many things, it’s easy to lose sight of what you’re supposed to be doing.
If you don’t find your focus, it becomes a lot harder to zero in and commit to a path that’ll move you forward in your business.
Impatience gets the best of you
The big problem with having no focus is that you don’t always give things the time they need to produce results.
In the process, you get impatient and your business can fizzle out before it really even gets started.
You get frustrated
The worst thing you can do when you’re trying to grow a blog or business is to let comparisons influence what you do.
You know what I mean. Everyone else is doing X, Y or Z and getting results but when you try it–zip, zilch, nothing.
That leads to frustration, which can make you lose sight of your vision and drain the heart right out of your business.
You throw money away
When you’re just starting out it’s natural to want to get as educated as possible and equip yourself with all the tools you need to build your business.
The problem is that when you don’t take time to find your focus first, you can end up buying things you don’t need or investing money in your business in the wrong places.
I totally did that.
I spend hundreds of dollars on a pricey blogging course over two years ago. I’m still less than a third of the way through it.
Finishing it is one of my big goals right now but I really wish I’d just held on to my money.
Time is the most valuable resource you have when you’re just starting to build your business and it’s not one you can afford the squander.
Working without a clear plan or focused is a huge time-waster.
Sure, you’re busy. But staying busy and being productive aren’t the same thing.
You get overwhelmed
If you’re just starting your business, you probably feel like you’re in over your head.
When anxiety over what to do next kicks in, one of two things you can happen.
You either freeze, because you’re not sure which step to take next. Or, you throw in the towel and put your mompreneur dreams on the shelf.
I’ve totally been there. It’s what kept me from launching this blog for over a year.
The more I tried to do, the more overwhelmed I became.
And that’s exactly what I want to help you avoid.
How to Find Your Focus and Start Growing Your Business
So how do you do that? Here are seven ways to find your focus and get back on track:
1. Get clear on your why
To build any business, you must have a vision. Your vision is the goal you’re working towards, it represents your WHY.
Ask yourself some questions if you’re feeling fuzzy on your direction.
- Why are you starting this business?
- What mission are you hoping to fulfill?
- What are your goals for this business?
- Who are you trying to reach?
- Who are you hoping to help?
This step is really non-negotiable for running a business successfully. Sasha, at Everyday She’s Sparkling, has an awesome guest post on her blog that explains why finding your “why” is so important.
2. Get comfortable with not being able to do it all
The pressure to get it all done can make you want to cry — literally. (And I have, more than once along the way).
But here’s what you need to know:
You can’t do it all.
Not all at once anyway.
But you can make a dent in your to-do list by setting some clear goals.
The best tip I have for that is to start by picking the three goals that are going to have the most impact on your business right now to focus on.
For example, when I decided to try blogging again, I decided to work on three things:
- Filling up my site with valuable content that people would want to read
- Getting over my fear and promoting my blog
- Fine-tuning what I wanted my niche to be
Picking just three goals helps you lock down what you need to do, instead of all the things you think you should be doing.
Once you start to get comfortable in your business, you can start adding on new goals to chase down.
3. Think short-term
When you can’t find your focus at all, stop and ask yourself what you can do today, tomorrow, this week to get your business going?
You can then use those small things to build up to one larger goal.
Let’s say that a year from now, you want to be generating $5,000 a month in income from your business. If you’re starting from scratch, your smaller goals might look like this:
- Create your business plan
- Write up a list of potential clients
- Pitch your services to five new prospects each week
It’s enough to get you going again when you’re feeling totally unmotivated but not so much that you’re freaking out about what you have to do.
4. Block your time
Time blocking is seriously the best habit I’ve ever adopted, in my business and in my life.
It just means breaking down your day into different blocks of time. Within these blocks, you focus on specific tasks.
So my typical daily time block looks like this:
- 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. – Wake up, shower, make breakfast, scan emails that came in overnight, check my to-do list
- 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Write client assignments for the day, respond to emails if needed, pitch client ideas, do at least one blog-related task
- 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. – Lunch
- 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Homeschool time
- 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Tidying up, dinner, walking the dogs
- 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Kid time
- 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. – Working on my blog
- 12 a.m. – Bed
My day doesn’t always follow this exact pattern. Some days we have soccer practice or church. Some days it all goes to hell in a handbasket before 9 a.m.
But on the days that I’m able to stick to the routine, I always end up surprising myself with how much I’m able to finish.
5. Dial down the white noise
Social media, TV, game apps. Distractions are everywhere and they will jam up your focus game if you don’t do something about them.
Cutting out these time-wasters is essential and once the clutter’s gone, you might be amazed at how much extra time you really have to work on your business.
If you’re clueless about where your days go, there’s an easy solution: tracking your time.
Tracking your time helps you get tuned in to your habits and figure out where you’re wasting precious minutes in your day. (And be sure to grab my free time tracking sheets if you need something to help you get started!)
6. Do one thing at a time and focus on high-value activities
I know what you’re thinking.
Work on just one thing at a time? I’ll never build a business that way.
Actually, that’s not true. You can build a business by doing just one thing each day. It just might take you a little more time to do it.
So, which thing do you work on?
- Make a list of everything you need and want to do in your business.
- Prioritize that list based on what’s urgent, important and what you don’t necessarily need to work on right away.
- Then, start with the most urgent and work your way down.
Easy peasy, right?
It sounds so insanely simple that you think it can’t work. But really, it does.
Once you have a roadmap of sorts to follow for what to do, in what order, getting focused and growing your business becomes so much easier.
7. Stop seeking perfection
Here’s an important lesson you need to know if you’re going to be successful in your business: perfection is a lie.
In fact, it’s going to be downright messy at times. Nevertheless, you can make it work if you stick with it.
So don’t get hung up on making everything exactly perfect.
Get clear on your vision and goals and choose your most important tasks.
Then do it ugly if you have to, but just do it.
Have You Struggled To Find Your Focus While Building a Business?
Now it’s your turn–do you have a killer tip for dealing with distractions so you can find your focus and get more done?
Tell me about it in the comments!
And if this post helped you, be sure to pin and share it!