Do you have the shiny object syndrome?
The syndrome where while you are working on something important, your computer beeps, your phone rings, or you see a bird outside and suddenly lose all concentration?
I am the poster child of shiny object syndrome. One of my largest struggles in the quest to be more productive is the power of focus.
As I meet and speak with more sales professionals and business owners, I know I am not alone. Most of us struggle with shiny object syndrome.
How do we stop the madness?
Have you ever been working on a task only to receive a phone call, then check your email, then get a text, and then go to the bathroom, only to completely forget what you were doing?
Ok, that may be dramatic, but it really isn’t too far off.
Over the past year, I have really worked on limiting distractions and focusing on the task at hand.
One of my favorite new acronyms that Entrepreneur on Fire podcast host John Lee Dumas uses all the time is FOCUS.
It’s simple, but it works.
3 Ways To Become More Focused
List the most important tasks for your day the night before. Not when you walk in to your office or on the fly.
By planning your next day the night before, you can rest assured that you will have a plan of action. You have a strategy and a mission. You will also sleep better, knowing that you are ready to take on the next day.
I actually calendar my days on the half-hour and hour. I want to have a plan of action for every time slot in the day. Note well, give yourself 15–30 minutes longer than you think you need to complete a task. As much as we try to prevent distraction and interruptions, they can and will still happen.
This will take practice as I still working on getting it right, but even an average plan is better than no plan at all.
2) Turn Off All Notifications
This one was a huge one for me. Turn off everything that may beep, chirp, or ding at you. None of it is that important unless your wife is due (been there four times) at any time.
I used to pride myself on getting back to someone within minutes or even seconds. My Blackberry was my prize.
Minus a few rare exceptions, no email or voice mail was ever urgent. Most people don’t expect an email, or in today’s world, a Facebook comment to be answered immediately.
Turn it all off. Designate a time in your calendar to answer emails, return phone calls, or conduct social media.
If you don’t, you will become a slave to your computer and phone. You will lose your focus, your creativity, and become reactive instead of proactive.
3) Think “Big Picture”
If you are reading this, chances are you have big dreams and goals you want to achieve.
Picture a roller coaster. If you are in sales or own a business, you ride one every day!
A roller coaster has ups and downs, and twist and turns, but there is a start and an end. There is a final destination to reach.
Distractions are like tracks that take you off course for that final destination. You get sidetracked and start working on unimportant items that take up valuable time.
You need to be focused on your destination. Even thought you will have ups and downs, you must focus on the final goal.
Do you have a weekly, monthly, or yearly goal you are trying to achieve? Is it written down?
Understanding the big picture and goals will help you avoid the small distractions. You must be laser focused.
The Bottom Line
We will all get distracted by the shiny object syndrome at some point. The key is to use the power of FOCUS to overcome these urges.
Plan, turn off notifications, and think “big picture.”
You have an important job to do. Too important to let distractions derail you.
Question: What is your biggest distraction? Have you overcome it? How? You can leave a comment by clicking here.