The other day I realized how easy it is to get caught up in what other bloggers and entrepreneurs are doing. Seriously, the moment I realized this, I thought “The madness must stop!”
Think about it. Someone is always coming out with a new e-book, course, webinar, etc., and these are always things that we think we must read now, join now, and buy now. Don’t get me wrong– I’m thankful for entrepreneurs who are always creating and releasing valuable products for their audiences. However, I also realized that as an everyday consumer of sooo much information, I need to be more mindful of who I’m giving my time/money to and how often I do it. In other words, I need to spend more time executing my own plans and less time
on Periscope consuming. Here’s how to increase your focus as a creative and consistently accomplish your goals:
1. Keep YOUR mission your top priority.
Once you know what your mission is and what you need to do to achieve it, it’s easy to quickly decide what you don’t need to waste your time on. Write down your mission and stick to it. Who is your business or blog for, what is the overall purpose, and how will you accomplish it? An example of a mission statement: My mission is to help brands (WHO) develop clear messages that connect with their audiences (WHAT) by creating simple and valuable content (HOW).
Too often, we become inspired and distracted by what other people are doing, and we decide that we want to do the same thing without even knowing what their mission is. How does that work? It doesn’t. Save yourself the effort and disappointment, and make sure everything you do is truly in line with your mission and not someone else’s.
2. Create actionable weekly and monthly goals.
Your goals feed your mission, and they help keep you in check when that new, shiny product or opportunity is all up in your face begging for attention. Let’s say your goal for the month is to learn how to make your brand visually appealing and consistent. Your weekly goals throughout the month should help you achieve your ultimate goal of creating a consistent, visual brand. If someone comes along and offers you a course on how to increase your social media following by 50% in one week, whether or not you should buy the course at that moment is pretty clear. When you focus on one goal for the month, you’ll notice how much more productive you are and how much more momentum you gain than when you divide your focus among random things that don’t need your sudden attention.
3. Keep track of valuable resources that you can use… LATER.
There are tons of amazing products and opportunities out there, especially ones about improving your blog and business. However, you must remember that everything isn’t always relevant, and it’s impossible to effectively learn and implement multiple concepts at one time. If you come across books, courses, etc. that you know will be useful to you in the future, keep an ongoing list of what they are and where you can get them from (I use the app Trello to do this). When the time finally comes for you to use the resource, it’s there, and if it’s no longer available, you can always do research for something that’s similar. There are too many useful resources out there to think that there’s only one product that can give you the info you need to improve your blog or business.
4. Limit how closely you follow other creatives.
Here’s a little secret. I’m the type of person who will find a blogger whose content I love and follow them on ALL of their social media platforms… and their newsletter! Talk about doing the most. Be very selective with whom you follow and how much of their content you absorb. Sometimes you get caught up in someone else’s content so much that their thoughts become your own, or you feel that whatever you create doesn’t compare to their content, so you do nothing. No bueno. One thing that’s been working for me is choosing one or two social platforms that the person is active on and that’s it. This allows me to benefit from the knowledge and experiences they share, but they’re also not in all of my social feeds every time I turn around.
5. Trust your journey.
It doesn’t matter how many how-to guides you read or how many $500 courses you take about how not to make the mistakes someone else did, you’re still going to make mistakes. Taking advantage of resources that promise to help you get your life and business together in 30 days is great, but you cannot avoid the process that comes with going from a beginner to an expert. Most things take trial and error and there are plenty of tactics and tools that others swear by that won’t necessarily work for you. The ups and downs you experience as you develop your blog or business are necessary. If you overcome the tough times, you’ll flourish more than you ever thought was possible.
Now it’s your turn.
What’s your #1 goal for this month? Tell me in a comment below.