I’m sure if you are like me there always seems to be something from the real world trying to get in the way of and distract you from your work.
Life happens. The phone rings, you have incoming emails that you need to respond to, you really should check your Facebook page and your Twitter account, you need to finish researching that one topic that is going to be your next great program, your family and friends want you to ditch work for the day and hang out, your house needs cleaning, your favorite television show is featuring your favorite actor/actress as a guest star and you don’t want to miss it…any of these, or maybe all of these, sound familiar?
It is especially difficult to find the time to do all the work that you know needs to be done in the beginning stages of your business when you might not be in the position to hire an assistant. It can be overwhelming and drain you of your energy and makes you all the more susceptible to all those distractions.
So where do you find the time to get everything done? Well, you simply have to have to make time for your goals and make your business the priority.
I know, easier said than done, right? Listed below are a few things that I found really helped me and inspired me to find the time to get the work done without the distractions getting in the way:
- Create a dedicated work space:
- Find a space and dedicate it to your business, especially if you are working from home. It can be a corner or an entire room, but you want to try to limit its use to work related tasks. When you are in this space, you will know that you are there to work!
- Fill your work space with things that inspire you:
- Inspirational quotes,
- Photographs of your hero or mentor or others who inspire you,
- Idea journals. These are those little notebooks that you carry around with you so you can jot down story ideas wherever you may be. (Don’t have an idea journal? Get one! These are great for recording fleeting ideas that pop into your head between your scheduled writing times that you want to incorporate into your story, but may forget if not recorded when they occur.)
- Your Business Vision Board.
- Set your priorities and stop giving time to unproductive activities:
- Try keeping a daily activity log for a week where you record how much time you spend doing various activities. You’ll probably find that you’re wasting more time than you think.
- Review how you actually spend your time each day. Are these activities really benefiting you and helping you to achieve your business goals or are they just distracting you from taking necessary action that you have been putting off?
- Give any unproductive activities the ax and replace them with more productive and income generating ones, like writing or marketing..
- Set daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals:
- Figure out what you want to accomplish each day, week, month, and year.
- For more information on goal setting read this post.
- Make an appointment with yourself for yourself and keep it:
- Commit yourself to setting aside certain blocks of time for various activities and actually pencil them in on your schedule just as you would any other appointment, and keep it!
- During those blocks of time, set a timer and work at the scheduled activity until the allotted time is up.
- Let others know that you will be unavailable during that time period, especially if your spouse or children are at home also during this time. Don’t be afraid to say, “I’m sorry but I have an appointment.” Honor your commitment to your business,
- Look at this appointment as a job interview. Be on time, be prepared, and don’t reschedule.
- Stop distractions before you get started:
- Turn off the television, radio, telephone, and your computer. If you have to use your computer, then avoid email and social media sites (unless they are specifically a part of your goal).
- Anticipate any needs that you may have during your allotted work block, and be prepared for them, so you do not stop once you begin. Turn off your ringer, get your coffee or tea, etc. before you get started.
As you can see, it is possible to avoid letting distractions interrupt your work, but it requires getting clear on your goals and making a commitment to yourself and your business. Using the above tips can help you do just that.
How do you keep distractions at bay when you are working? I’d love to hear other tips. Just leave them in the comments below.