What’s the number one thing holding back the average online business owner? It’s not something they cover in most ebooks. Most people are actually holding themselves back! Are you one of them? Are you easily distracted? Can you spend hours on Facebook “working” and not get anything done?
I’m no exception here. I can look at myself and say, “Yes, I’m holding myself back. I’m slacking. I’m distracted. I’m being unproductive.” I can tell myself that I’m screwing up and I need to fix it if I want to succeed.
Distraction is a plague among internet marketers and I’m here to share three steps that help me get more done each day. Now, they may not be the easiest to implement because every bone in your body pulls you towards these distractions but I guarantee if you give it a try you’ll find yourself getting your essential tasks done earlier and maybe even get rid of a bit of that guilt you feel from being so unproductive. (I know I have a lot of guilt over not getting things done.)
Step 1: Take 5-10 minutes to make your to-do list in the evening.
When you wake up in the morning the last thing you want to do is spend the first part of the day planning out your list. Not only are you more likely to have forgotten something important but you’d be amazed at how easy it is to use creating a to-do list as an excuse to be distracted.
Instead, take 5-10 minutes to create your to-do list. Now, don’t go overboard here. There is a reason I said 5-10 minutes.
You’re not creating a huge or exaggerated to-do list. It’s not going to be hyper-specific. Just make a quick list of the most essential tasks that need to get done.
The point here is that you now have a simple and easy to obtain goal. You’re important tasks can get done without giving you added stress (which leads to distraction.)
When you wake up you can get right to work and once that list is done move on to less essential tasks.
Step 2: Don’t check your email, Facebook, Twitter, or anything else for the first two hours after you sit down to work.
Have a good breakfast, maybe go for a walk, or whatever else is part of your morning routine. Do all that before you pick up your phone or sit down on your computer. Trust me, those emails can wait a few hours if it means you’re going to get more done!
Once you’re at the computer, just get right to work on something. Don’t tempt yourself by checking email or social media. It’s just going to lead to distraction, time wasting, and disappointment.
Write a blog post, work on something for a client, finish that chapter of your book. Set a timer for two hours. No social media or email until after then. See how much work you get done.
If you know you’re going to keep trying to go to Facebook, block it. I use Cold Turkey to block sites that could distract me during work time. I have it set to automatically block social media and video games for the first three hours after I wake up.
Step 3: When you realize you’re distracted, call yourself out on it!
At the end of the day you have to hold yourself accountable. If you get distracted, only you can get yourself back on track and it’s going to be you (and those who count on you) who pay the price if you don’t meet your goals.
I know it’s harsh, but it’s true. You need to learn to call yourself out when you make a mistake. Don’t keep browsing Facebook and wallow in self-pity. Click that “x” and get back to work! Stop messing around! Remember why you’re doing this.
If the distractions are too hard to resist, turn off your wifi. Use Cold Turkey more often. Go and work somewhere without internet (after downloading your resources) and put yourself where you can’t fall to temptation. Do what you need to do to get things done. Take responsibility for your business.
Now get to work!
At the end of the day it’s all about sitting down and getting things done. It’s up to you to fight off distractions. My tips can only help so much (and I really hope they help).Feel free to check out my five tips for staying focused on the task at hand and see if they help.
If you’re reading this blog post right now and there is work to be done, here is what I want you to do. Don’t leave a comment. Don’t head over to Facebook and talk about it. Instead, exit out of your browser and get to work. Stop letting distractions hold you back, okay? I want you to succeed! I want you to get more done! I want you to make money! You can’t do that sitting around reading blog posts – you need to take action and get things done.