Keeping The Focus


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Have you ever had a project to complete or everyday tasks to work on and yet you’ve found yourself wasting time playing computer games? As you played these games you realized that this was not the best use of your time and then began feeling guilty? 

I remember hearing motivational speaker and psychologist Denis Waitley refer to this behavior as “tension relieving and not goal achieving.” Why are we so willing to waste time instead of go for our goals? 

I have a confession: I waste my time when I should be working. I don’t want to waste time but it’s like I can’t stop myself. I don’t want to think, I just want to be doing something mindless. Why? I have goals! So, what am I avoiding? What’s so unpleasant about going forward? 

The more time I waste, the more behind I become. The more behind I become, the more frustrated I become with myself. The more frustrated I become, the less work I want to do. It’s like a never-ending cycle of avoidance, guilt and stress. What was I avoiding? Am I avoiding success? 

Honestly, I think when all of this began I was just plain tired and I started to lose focus. I was losing sight of the big picture – the end result of all my efforts. I needed to step back and look at where I was going and what I wanted to accomplish. I needed to refocus on the BIG picture. 

Here’s what I decided to do: 

1. I made time to revisit my goals. If I’m losing sight of the big picture, how important was the goal to me in the first place? Or, did something about the goal frighten me emotionally? 

2. I listed all the things I do during an average day. I mean everything, even the time wasters. I started looking for patterns. Were there certain tasks or projects that I seem to avoid more than others? 

3. I made a chart of the most important chores that needed to be done each day, week and month to go positively forward toward my goals. These became my number one priorities to complete each day, week and month. I also placed a “real world” value between 1-10 on the importance of each chore. I would begin the day with the most important chores first. 

That may seem like a lot of trouble to figure out why I was playing Solitaire but I wanted to keep going forward in positive ways. 

Here’s what I discovered: 

1. I was tired – physically tired. I’d been trying to cram in too much into an average 24 hours. I needed a physical and mental break. 

2. There are some tasks and chores that I don’t enjoy and they mentally frustrated me so I avoided them. 

3. I was taking on too much and losing sight of keeping the important things important. 

Here’s what I decided to do:

1. As an independent business owner I can make my own hours. I’ve decided to take a block of time each month for FUN! I will not feel guilty while I’m having fun. I can read a book, go to the park, take a couple of days to do nothing work related – I have choices. The key is to be able to have fun and not feel I should be working. I will stop playing the mind games and learn to relax and rejuvenate more! 

2. Pinpoint the tasks I avoid and either pay someone to do them or “pull up my big girl pants” and just do them myself. I’ve begun setting time aside each week to specifically work on the tasks I’d rather avoid. I won’t leave the office until they are finished! 

3. Revisit my priorities and regain my focus. I’ll focus on what I want to accomplish, not on what’s unfinished. It’s a whole different mindset – I’m not making success such a struggle because my focus is on the pleasurable and satisfying end results. It’s like I’ve taken the pressure off myself. 

I hope this helps you if you’re going through the same thing. Success is about enjoying the process and not getting caught up in the “overwhelm” that can sometimes accompany going forward. 

Here’s my pearl of wisdom: Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want!

Copyright © 2010 Sharon Michaels – All Rights Reserved

I’m Sharon Michaels and my business is dedicated to empowering and coaching women in business. I show women entrepreneurs how to build a financially successful business by empowering themselves and enhancing their business-building skills.

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