Whether they’re related to your business or your life, bright, shiny objects pop up and steal your productivity. Those shiny objects may even be amazing ideas for growing your business. But if you chase every idea the moment it pops into your head, you won’t follow through with anything.
Your productivity will be zapped, you’ll feel chaotic and unsuccessful.
That’s why I’m sharing four tips to help you shelve those bright, shiny ideas so you can focus on what’s in front of you. You’ll make progress in your current workload AND be able to follow up on those great, new ideas later.
Links Mentioned in this Episode:
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success: https://www.amazon.com/Mindset-Psychology-Carol-S-Dweck/dp/0345472322
Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done: https://www.amazon.com/Finish-Give-Yourself-Gift-Done/dp/1591847621
6 Secrets to Finishing What You Start (Marketing Made Easy Podcast Interview with John Acuff): https://www.amyporterfield.com/2018/09/228/
Join my Free DIY Marketing Community. https://www.facebook.com/groups/DIYMarketingWithMelanie
Read the Full Transcript:
Oh, I am so excited to talk about this topic today. Not only is it just near and dear to my heart, it is really important. And I know that a lot of people face the issue of bright and shiny object syndrome. I do, of course, which is one reason it's near and dear to my heart. But it's essentially how we so many times get distracted, or pulled off course, because of a new idea or something else we want to check out. And it makes it difficult for us to follow through with the things that we're working on or the initiatives that we're taking, or, you know, we flip and flop we, you know, we commit to one thing, and then we're always changing because of some new idea. You know, in the world of social media, a really good example would be, you know, you hear about a new feature, like when Facebook Live first came out, you know, if you weren't, if you were barely even posting anything, you know, Facebook Live comes on, you're like, “Oh, my gosh, now I have to do Facebook Live.” And then you start doing Facebook Live, and you're kind of committed to it. And then YouTube Live comes out and you're like, well, maybe I should be doing YouTube Live. And then IG, you know, like stories, and then the whole watches, watch parties. And then, of course, IG TV. And you're like, you know, if you were like exploring all these things, and thinking you needed to jump in and adopt all these things, and it was just pulling you away from just simply being consistent with one thing. That's kind of like bright and shiny object syndrome. And you know, for me, it is like ideas, I have lots of ideas. I'm a visionary person, I'm an innovative person. I recently took the Adobe, you know, creator profile thing that kind of went viral on the internet. And it came back and said, I'm the innovator, I am full of ideas, I can come up with solutions. But I don't always do the best job of following through. And I need people to work with me who could help me follow through or take on the tasks of implementing, and I'm like, “Yep, that's me to a T.” I love ideas. And because I love ideas so much, and because I'm always learning, and I'm always researching, and I'm always looking for fun things, I'm always looking to fix, I'm always looking to improve… Sometimes, many times, it makes it difficult for me to finish what I start. Might be a project, it might be an initiative, it could be a pivot in my business. And that is definitely something that I have become very self-aware of. And I have been working really hard to, you know, deal with it and manage it. The reason I kind of phrase it that way is because I don't think that I'm ever going to get rid of it or not be a person that faces bright and shiny object syndrome, I don't have the luxury of that. But it's also part of what makes me so innovative. And so I have to embrace it. But I have to learn how to manage it, I have to learn how to work with it, I've got to let that, you know, that syndrome, that tendency, to work in good ways, but I've also got to understand how it can actually get in the way of my progress and my success. So I'm going to kind of give you a little background before we get started. I'm going to share with you how I manage this and how I work to overcome and deal with it, to make myself, you know, get through things and to make more progress. But first, you know, I want to set it up a little bit, because I think that some of you probably can relate to where I'm coming from, and maybe why I'm this way. But also even if you, you know, don't consider yourself a person who has bright and shiny object syndrome, that's, you know, constantly being distracted or really, really suffers from finishing projects repeatedly... But I’m going to say that most likely you do run into this issue every once in a while. And so the strategies that I'm going to share with you guys today absolutely can help you as well, even if this only is something you need to apply every once in a while. If that is you, I am so happy for you that you're not dealing with this bright and shiny object syndrome all the time… I just, I come up with ideas all the time there, I come up with them in the shower, and while I sleep, I mean, it's just constant. So anyway, so really, I started to recognize that this was an issue for me and was making my professional progress a challenge... probably about four years ago, you know, I've been self-employed now for a little over five years. And I really, you know, when you're working alone, and you're trying to get things done, and you're trying to stay on task, you don't have bosses pushing you or peers that can kind of help you move along. You really have to learn some different strategies to really, really keep going, obviously, you have your clients and your client work or whatever it is that you're doing that you answer to, that help you keep going. But it's very easy to fall off course. And I found myself constantly, you know, wanting to do new things. I mean, honestly, this podcast is something that I started to think about doing four years ago, I mean, really, and it's taken me this long to get to a point where I'm launching it. And so I just was always coming up with ideas, not only about how I can market, myself and my business, but also my clients. And then of course, just what should I be doing, like as far as like serving my clients and, you know, should I be doing workshops? I could do online courses, and all I could take, I could work and I just I was always flip-flopping and I was getting nowhere, and it was becoming exhausting. And so I really started to recognize it.
You know, growing up with ADD I kind of already had some tendencies, and I already was aware of some tendencies with getting distracted and you know, getting off course, and even just like focus, but you know, I have found ways to mitigate that, you know, I'm a huge to-do list lover. I mean, if you know me, you know how much I love a good list. I love apps that can help me track my ideas and keep things organized and put timelines together and whatnot because whenever I start to feel that ADD, or that lack of focus, or the distractions come in, then I always have my list. I go back to my list, it's kind of like my little, you know, my little safety blanket. And so when it came to this whole, constant flip-flopping and the distraction of these, you know, bright and shiny objects, if you will, these new ideas, I realized that I've got to figure out a way to get through this, like, I've got to figure out a process that can work for me. And I tried a number of things, and they didn't work, you know, people would say things like, “Well just stick to the plan” or you know, “Schedule it, put it in your schedule,” and they just didn't work for me. And I really just was trying to get a better understanding of it. And I don't remember how this book came to me. But I started reading a book and it was not because I thought I was going to, you know, understand more about this bright and shiny object syndrome, it just kind of came in and it helped again, with my self-awareness. Because I think what we have to figure out is why do we get distracted? Or why do we change course? Or why are these bright and shiny objects taking us away from finishing some of the other things that we've already started? And so I was reading this book, and it's called “Mindset.” So it's called “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” and it's by Carol Dweck, D-W-E-C-K. And I'll put a link in the show notes to this book, I do think it's an amazing book. You know, it's very practical, and even, like, it's got concepts in it that are great for business, but just personally, and if you're a parent, this is a must-read as a parent so that you can, you know, really develop your children and give them the right messages.
But anyway, I digress. The book basically, overall, goes into the concepts of two types of mindsets. There's a growth mindset, and there's a fixed mindset. And the growth mindset is basically somebody who enjoys a challenge, they don't need a lot of reward, the reward is like figuring things out. And so they love hard things. They love to dig in and they love to explore it, the solutions are not obvious, and they don't have a guarantee that they're going to figure things out. If that sounds, like, scary to you, then you probably don't have the growth mindset. The fixed mindset, which is the other mindset is, you know, it's not the total opposite, but it's basically you, you want to know you're going to be successful. You're going to start something if you know you can finish it. You're going to take that on if you know you can do it, and you can do it well. So it's kind of like, you know, the fixed mindset folks, you know, they need that confidence, they need that reassurance, they don't want to fail, and they need a bit of a guarantee that they aren't going to fail. Whereas the growth mindset, they actually love the process of the unknown. And failure is not like not completing something, or not being great at something or not being perfect at something is not necessarily a failure to them. In fact, they're willing to try, and try again, and try again, and try again until they figure it out. Whereas a fixed mindset person might try and, once they realize something is hard, then they're done. They're peacing out, they're not going for it anymore. They're done. This is too much. So one of the examples that she gives, that I really liked, that helped kind of help me understand this. (And by the way, when I started reading this book, and I was hearing these descriptions, I literally said to myself, “Oh, well, I am totally a growth mindset, like even as a kid I loved, like, story problems. And I just, I'm a growth mindset. I love challenges, I love figuring things out.” But once I started reading the examples that she gives, in this book, I definitely had to change my tune, I absolutely had to change my tune.) And so for example, you know, the examples that she gives, like with children is she did this experiment, you know, these tests and stuff. And there was a group of children, young children, and they were just from all walks of life, and they put them in a room together and they brought out these puzzles. And everybody did the same puzzle. And it was a fairly, you know, easy puzzle, right? And so everybody does the puzzle, and they all are able to kind of complete it and get it done. And it's you know, fun and whatever. Then they say, “Okay, we're going to do a puzzle again, but we're going to bring you another option. Now just so you know, kids, this puzzle is way harder, you know, it's much more challenging. It's just, you know, whatever. And you can now go ahead and do whatever puzzle you want.” And some kids were like, “Oh, well, I already know I can do this puzzle because I just did it. And that's fun to me. So I'll do it again. Like I like completing it. I like knowing I can do it. I feel good that I can do that. Why would I want to take on a challenging one when I can play with this one that I know I can do because I just did it?” And then the other kids were like, “Oh, yes, give me this new puzzle. It's hard, I can't wait to dig in. I want to figure it out.” So you're probably guessing that the ones that really wanted to dig in and really wanted to figure it out, they’re the growth mindset. And the kids that wanted to play with the same puzzle that they had just completed were the fixed mindset kids. And so you can probably come up with some examples in your life where, you know, this makes sense. Some people don't deal with change very well. Some of those people are fixed mindset. And that mindset is what is why they don't like change... Change is unknown, you've got to figure it out, you've got to start over, you've got to, you know, you've got to restart your engines, you have a new territory to explore. And then other people really love change, and they love that kind of stuff. Well, here, I'll just tell you a little bit about me, I am totally a blend, which I feel like is how I am with everything. But I am totally a blend. There are some areas of my life that I am absolutely growth mindsetted… “mindsetted,” I don't think that's a word, but we're going to make it a word today. And then there's a lot of other areas that I'm fixed mindsetted, I have fear of failure, I ahve fear that I'm not going to get through it, or I have fear that I'm gonna be disappointed in myself or whatnot, or I start to work on something and I'm like, “Oh, this is going to take forever, I don't even want to do it anymore.” I don't know if that's you, I remember one time, I was gonna, like, do my own paver patio. I had a very, you know, small house, and I was very into DIY and everything. And I was like, “Sweet, I'm going to do a patio this weekend.” Well, if you've ever done this, you know that this is a lot of hard work. It's not necessarily something you can just go start learning how to do and finish it by the end of the weekend. And so I started it, and I didn't finish it. And it sat there half prepared for almost a year before I finally finished it. And the reason I finished it is because I was listing my house and I had to finish it. And so that's a perfect example of a memory that came to my mind. And I was like, “Oh my gosh, I’m a fixed mindset. I thought I was a growth mindset!” When I started hearing this, you know, I truly want to be and wanted to be growth mindsetted, like in every way, shape, and form. But I had to be honest with myself, like, I am absolutely a fixed mindset in a lot of ways. And when I read this book, and I was going through the book, you know, I just was like, “Wow, I've got it. Okay, now that I know this, I can acknowledge it, I can accept it. And then I can try to find some ways to work around it.” Because the other thing too, that Carol Dweck believes in is that you can be a fixed mindset, but you can become a growth mindset person, you can develop a growth mindset. And I think in a lot of ways, we should all be striving to have that growth mindset. And that's, you know, essentially her mission and her goal. So I just, I was like, “Okay, I gotta face it, I gotta deal with this.” And the reason I'm sharing this is because this is when I really started to focus on, “Okay, what can I do to, you know, mitigate this fixed mindset, which is possibly, you know, limiting me?” So the reason why this fixed mindset comes into play with the whole bright and shiny object syndrome is because sometimes my distraction, or, you know, me changing direction is truly because I'm so freaking inspired. Or I'm like, I so believe in this new idea and I'm just so excited to get it going that I can't wait and I just, I run. And that is a lack of discipline, okay? But there are sometimes that I start something, and I don't launch or I don't finish it, or I sit on it forever, or the patio sits there unfinished for a year, you know, the project, the course, the online course, the workshop, the new idea, the new service package… they sit, they get started, and they sit. And that is the fixed mindset that comes into play with this lack of finishing. So the bright and shiny object syndrome sometimes is actually it's like, you look for something else to work on, because you're actually avoiding finishing something else, because of the fear. Or sometimes, for me, I will start a project I will learn have an idea come up with an idea and I'm like, “Yes, I am doing this!” For example, this podcast. About three years ago, I started looking into like, “Okay, how do you start a podcast? How do you create a podcast,” and I'm thinking, you know, when I was starting it, I was like, this is gonna be great. And I start researching it. And you know, it was like, oh, okay, I'm gonna need to invest in a mic, I'm gonna have to learn a piece of software, I'm gonna have to learn how to do this, I'm gonna have that, I'm gonna have this, I'm gonna have that yada, yada, yada. And I was like, “Ooh, that just sounds kind of hard. I don't know if I'm really into that.” And I kind of put it to the side for a while. And so that was an example of once I learned that it was gonna be a little harder than I thought, I set it off to the side. So there's that fixed mindset. But I found something else to kind of work on to say, “Okay, I'm not launching a podcast because I'm doing this.” And so you know, there's other examples, of course, and I'm sure you can come up with other examples that are coming to mind right now, as I'm describing these scenarios. So again, the reason why this whole fixed and growth mindset comes into play is because I do think that a lot of these types of things are... they’re the foundational reasons why sometimes we have the tendencies that we have. So the book was big for me, it was very inspiring. And it just, it kind of created this foundation, but it was really the beginning of me, really trying to find some strategies where I could, you know, not let that mindset get in my way. So I don't know about you, but I'm ready to talk about some of these strategies that I've discovered over the last few years that I am really, in this last year, really, really, really starting to put into place and to start to, you know, just be more disciplined. And again, that word discipline is important. Because, you know, we can learn how to do something all day long, you can go to Instagram and find a million motivational quotes, but it's up to you to take action.
And that requires discipline. And so I feel like this year, I'm really starting to see some results from being more disciplined with using these strategies. Okay, so the first strategy. This is another book, I have to preface a little bit that there's another book that is absolutely mind-blowing in regards to finishing what you start, there's a guy named John Acuff. And again, I'll link to this book in the show notes as well. And his book is called “Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done.” And I mean, the title alone, I mean, my goodness, right? It's like exactly what we're talking about here. Anyways, John has a series of strategies in his book that he provides. And, you know, it's incredible. And when I first heard about this book, it was actually when I was listening to a podcast interview… Amy Porterfield was interviewing Jon Acuff on her podcast, “Online Marketing Made Easy,” and I'll link to that podcast as well, because it was almost like a cliff notes version of the book. And John is hilarious, by the way. And so I highly recommend the audiobook, because it is very entertaining to listen to. He just, he's funny. And it's actually a funny book. And it's a fun book to read. But anyway, you know, I learned about the book then. And I immediately got the book on Audible, and I had to listen to it. And this, this strategy that he mentioned it’s basically cut your goal in half, which sounds nuts because it almost sounds counterproductive. Because so many times we hear, you know, that we need to have big goals, we need to work hard, we need to think big, we're not thinking big enough, you know, your goal is too small, it's too easy, you’re sandbagging, like, get a bigger goal, “Go big or go home,” like there's just so many, like messages in our faces about things need to be bigger. Well, you know, I believe in that, and I believe in a lot of the reasons behind that. But when he starts talking about cutting your goal in half, and why this is actually a strategy to finish, it made so much sense to me. And so what he means by cutting your goal in half is, let's say, for example, your goal is to make $300,000, you know, by the end of 2020, okay, it's 2019 now, so your goal is to make $300,000 a year by the end of 2020. There's two ways you can cut this goal in half.
One, you can cut the amount in half, or you can double the amount of time you give yourself to finish. So you could say, I'm going to make $150,000, by the end of the year in 2020. Or you could say, I'm going to make $300,000 a year by the end of the year in 2021, for example. So you give yourself more time, or you cut in half the actual, like, achievement you're striving for. And so this can apply in, like, lots of different ways. You know, you might say, “I'm going to, you know, create 100, you know, new templates for my clients.” Well, you know, go ahead and say I'm going to create 50. And it obviously, all goals need to have a time box in there. So that would be another example. And the reason he says we need to do this is because so many times, we have this big goal, and then we start working towards it, and then it gets hard and we're getting close to the finish line or we're halfway there, we're not halfway to our goal, or we get too… we get derailed or whatever. Or we get to the end and we don't hit our goal. What does it make us do? It hurts, it sucks, it makes us want to stop. Especially if we have a fixed mindset. We don't want to keep going. Now, if you have a growth mindset, the fact that you didn't get to your goal is probably going to push you really hard. And that's definitely great. But if you feel like you might have a fixed mindset, you might want to consider using the strategy of John's. The reason he says this is he says, “For example, let's say, you know, you want to make... you have a workshop and you want to sell 20 seats, you know, at, you know, $100 so you want to go do that.” That's your goal. And he says, “You know, what if you sell, you know, 17 seats, that's still great, it's still successful, you're going to feel like you weren't successful, though, like you didn't hit your goal, and you're done. But if you say I'm going to sell 10 seats, and you sell 17 seats, how is that going to make you feel? Like your goal was 10 seats and you sold 17, you're going to feel amazing, and you're going to feel energized and inspired. And you're going to keep going, and you might even find a way to sell three more seats.” And so he talks about the mental, you know, the mental mindset and what happens to us when we get close to our goals, or when we get just under our goals. But yet what if we exceed our goals, it actually makes us want to keep going. And so if your goal is only 10, and you sell 17, you're like so energized even. And when you get to like 12 or 13 you’re so energized, you're going to, like, keep pushing, keep selling, you might even sell 25 seats because of that. And so by cutting your goal in half, or by giving yourself more time or cutting, you know, the actual, you know, tangible piece in half, you are allowing yourself to celebrate a smaller win. And so you can do this by taking these big initiatives and break them up into smaller projects. So if you have a huge goal, and it's a huge project, don't look at the huge project, take it and break it up into smaller goals. It's kind of like the whole “how to eat an elephant… one bite at a time.” Take that concept and put it into play. I loved this, I thought this spoke to me, it made sense. I've been in the situations where, you know, you don't quite hit your goal or whatnot, for whatever reason. And it does, for me, personally, it makes me feel like a failure, it kind of makes me want to move on to something else. It doesn't make me want to try again, it doesn't make me keep going. That's just me, that's who I am. And I hate that. But that's, that's who I am, I have to accept that. And I have to find ways to work around it. And so when I heard this from him was like, “Yes, I can totally try that. And I will,” and I have you guys, I totally have and it's working. It really does help to break things up into smaller projects, smaller initiatives, and just, they can still feed into the larger initiative. Okay, so that's tip number one.
Now, the next tip or strategy is also something I got from John Acuff from his book. And it is to essentially make the next thing your reward for finishing the thing you're working on now. So incentivize yourself, create an incentive, like an incentive that you get to go for that next thing, or you get to make a change, or you get to pivot, or you get to launch the new thing, or open the next location, or launch the next product, or try the new marketing initiative, whatever it might be… you get to do that as a reward for finishing whatever it is you're working on right now, or whatever that initial initiative is. And I loved this idea, this really hit home for me. And I have to say, like, this is a really powerful strategy, at least it has been for me, and I think it can be for you as well. And so, you know, for example, even like personally in our lives, I mean, let's say you buy a house, or, you know, you want to make some updates to your house, because it's starting to get dated, right? And so you want to redo the kitchen, and you want to redo the patio, and you want to redo the bathroom, and you want new carpet, you want to paint the walls? Well, you really don't want to do all of those things at once. You could, but my goodness, especially if you're somewhat DIYing it, one, it's going to cost you a lot of money all at the same time, your house is going to be in utter chaos, which is going to make you feel like you're in chaos, and it's not going to feel or be as productive. So we all know the saying of you can only really, truly work well on something one thing at a time, you know, you can work on lots of things. But to do it really well, to do it efficiently, with quality, and at the speed that you want, you really need to be focused on one thing at a time. And when John was using this and talking about this strategy, I was like that totally fits that whole, you know, recommendation that you hear from experts. And so if it was your house, you would say, “Hey, we're going to redo the kitchen first. Because that's going to make us the happiest. That's going to be, you know, the best thing and it's going to be hard. But when we get the kitchen done, then we get to work on the bathroom. And when we're done with the inside, then we get to work on the patio and the outside. Instead of trying to tackle all these things at once, you focus on one thing at a time, and then you reward yourself by saying I get to now work on the next thing. And honestly, sometimes what happens is you actually, by the time you finish what you're working on, that other, kind of bright and shiny, great idea may not be as shiny anymore to you. It may not be, you may have like reflected on it a little bit more, or maybe something has changed in the meantime, and maybe now that's not a good direction to go. And that's completely fine, too. So I really liked this strategy because it gives you time to let your ideas marinate, which sometimes needs to happen. And then it also just allows you to have literally a method for continuing to kind of be able to develop ideas, but stay focused on one thing at a time. You know, so his example was he really wanted to launch a podcast, but he kept saying, you know, “I want to launch this podcast, I want to launch this podcast… it'll be great. It'll actually help me sell the book that I'm working on writing right now as I write this chapter…” And he had created, you know, this incentive for himself, he basically said, “No, no, John, you're not gonna start your podcast yet until you finish your book,” because he knew if he tried to launch a podcast while he was writing a book, it would have taken away from him writing the book, and it would have slowed him down. And he may not have even gotten to a point where he was finishing because the podcast would have been fun. And he would have been having so much fun doing the podcast that he wouldn't have wanted to work on the book. And so what he did was he basically gave himself the reward of being able to launch a podcast after he finished his book. And so I love that idea. I was like, “Oh, my gosh, I can totally apply this to my own business, right?” So I love, you know, creating the system of putting things in order. But just keep in mind that, you know, this allows you to put your ideas in a safe place, you're not rejecting them, you're not letting go of them, you're just putting them in a bucket. And it's like this is for later. And it makes you want to finish what you're working on. So you can get to that bright, shiny object that has you really excited right now. So I really like this strategy. So again, reward yourself with the next shiny thing after you complete what you're working on right now.
Okay, moving along. So we're at strategy number three. And that one is say no, so you can say yes. Now, I am not the author of this quote, many, many, many, many smart people have said this. There are many versions of it. But essentially, by saying no, so you can say yes… you’re basically taking things off your plate, and it almost applies to what we were just talking about. So you're going to say no to that next bright, shiny object right now. So that you can say yes later, so that you can say yes to working on what you're finishing right now. But it also applies to you being able to focus, you being able to really dedicate the time and the efforts that need to be dedicated in order to finish what you're working on. We all know we get distracted by just all kinds of stuff. But we also know that there are times we are working on things or spending time doing things that really don't matter right now. So this might mean, like, if you're getting ready to launch a business, or you're getting ready to make a big pivot in your business, or, you know, you've been putting off doing, you know, a really good, consistent marketing program because of time. Well, what do you need to say no to so that you can say yes to those things? It might mean, you know, saying no to working on, you know, a project. But it also might mean saying no to lunches with friends, it might mean saying no to, you know, after school programs that you're volunteering for with your kids. It might mean saying no to some boards that you're on, some community volunteering. It might mean saying no to drinking, you know, after work, it might mean saying no to drinking beers in the middle of the day, because you're not as productive in the afternoon. It might mean saying no to certain TV shows, Netflix, things that are keeping you away from working on stuff. Now I'm not saying I want you to go work from like, you know, I don't want you to work morning, noon and night. But I need you to think about the things that are getting in the way of you making some time, putting in some effort and making some good decisions that will help you finish some of the things that you're working on. So staying focused, it's all about staying focused. So you know, you may have to say no to that person that wants to have coffee with you to chat about whatever it might be so that you can spend that hour working on your business. And that's huge. You also might need to say no to staying up late, so you can get up earlier and work before the kids get up and become the complete distraction of your day, right?
And so that leads me actually to the next, you know, the next strategy, which is… strategy number four is you need to find your power hour. And so what I mean by your power hour is you need to find some time where you can literally shut out the world. And you can be the most productive, like, I mean, like major, like massive action, like you get some serious stuff done. For me, my power hour, the best time for my power hour is first thing in the morning, before anything gets going, my mind is fresh, I'm like, I'm the most creative in the morning. I'm talking like first thing in the morning. Now, I have a daughter, I'm a single parent, I gotta take her to school, I gotta, you know, help get her ready, because even though she's nine, she still needs to be reminded every single morning to brush her teeth. I don't understand that. But it is what it is. And, you know, I need to be there for her. And if I, you know, get up and I get ready with her, and then I get her to school, and then I try to find that power hour, I lost a little bit of that luster already, my mind's already started thinking about other things, I've already dedicated some energy to her and just other stuff. And I've lost a little luster. Now, again earlier in the day for me is still better. But my true, best hour is at like 5 a.m. I mean, like literally 5 a.m where I can work for an hour and a half before she's got to get up. And when I do this, when I do get up and I make myself get out of bed and I go sit down in the kitchen, and I drink my coffee and I start working, it is sometimes when I get the best work done. It's when I can create some of the best content, it's when I can get projects for clients done, things that are hard or things I've been putting off, it's when I can do the right strategic thinking that I need to do, working on presentations, working on course material, this is my best time of the day, this is my power hour. And so my power hour’s in the morning, but some people they are better after the kids go to bed, it's the end of the day, they feel relaxed, they grab a glass of wine, they sit down and they can work on what it is they want to work on. This is all going to be very dependent on many, many things… the type of work you need to do, your personality, your schedule, your life. And so you've got to find your power hour. And it could be any time of day. Okay, I think that the most common times are in the morning for most people, or, like I said, later at night. You've got to figure out what works for you. And you might have to try this out a few different ways. And you might have to change some things in order to find it. So again, you might have to say no to staying up late to watch the Cubs go into 15 innings so that you can get up at 4:45. So that you can be focused at your power hour at 5 a.m. Okay, and the other thing is that you, you might have to make some sacrifices during a power hour. And really, they're not, they're not major, I just need you to turn off all your distractions. I need your phone to be off, you're not in your email, you're not on social media. In fact, if you're working on a computer that gives you notifications, you need to go in and snooze. I know like with a PC, you can go into Windows into the settings and you can turn on like focus time and it turns off all notifications. So you're not going to get anything no matter what. I mean for me, I turn the phone off, I close out all my stuff… a lot of times won't even work on a computer unless I need to. And I can stay focused because it's so easy to get distracted. I've always got a tip for my students and my clients and I say, don't, you know, you need to be off social media to work on social media. And really, it just simply means like, I mean, how many times do you go to social media to look up a picture, to grab a picture, or to look up information and you literally get lost in your own notifications and in your newsfeed. And then you're like, you get out of it. And you're like, wait, what was I working on? Oh, yeah, oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, I was on social media trying to find that picture. It's like a vicious cycle. So you got to close everything down, you gotta eliminate all your distractions. And those distractions could be, you know, people in your life, they could be things going on in your house, it could even be your house, if your pile of laundry is distracting you, you gotta go somewhere else then. And you got to find that power hour. And in that power hour, you need to be focused and dedicated and working without distraction on that major initiative you're working on, okay? And so, you know, no bright and shiny objects, you don't get to explore these new ideas during this power hour. The power hour is focused on GSD - getting stuff done, okay? That is what this power hour’s for. It's not for brainstorming, it's not for learning. It's for producing work, okay, it’s for producing stuff, making progress on your big initiative, your big project, your big goals.
Alright, so just a quick recap of these four strategies that I think will help you stay on track to finish what you're starting: one, cut your goal in half. That could be by the time or that could be by the actual amount of achievement you're trying to make. So cut it in half, break your goals, your big initiatives into smaller projects and do smaller achievements, celebrate each achievement and move on to expanding and going to the next goal.
The second one is make the next big thing your reward for finishing what you're working on now. Okay, so incentivize yourself, create an incentive program where these bright and shiny objects, you put them off to the side in a little idea bank, and then you don't get to work on the next thing until you finish what you're working on now, and then let that push you to finish what you're working on. Use it as a reward.
The third thing is say no so you can say yes. You've got to eliminate some things, you're gonna have to make some hard decisions about what is truly getting in the way of your success. You've got to free up some time so that you can say yes to the stuff that really matters right now, in your business and in your life. And that could be TV, that could be alcohol, it could be some friends, it could be some commitments that you're making, some projects you're working on. But you've got to say no. So you can say yes to this thing that you need to finish and that you need to work on to make a big difference in your life.
And then the last strategy is you need to find that power hour. And that power hour, it honestly could be like an hour, or it could be three hours, it could be a block of time. But you've got to find that block of time that is completely 100% dedicated to you, to your project, and that you are not going to take phone calls, you're not going to look at your phone, you're not gonna look at social media, you're turning off all distractions, and you are massively productive during this hour, you are producing work during that power hour.
So there you have it, my friends, I hope these four strategies help you. Again, if you think you're a growth mindset, but you're really a little bit of a fixed mindset sometimes utilize strategies like this to help you stay on track. Okay, so things get in our way, a lot of it just we've got to stay focused. It's exciting to have new ideas. It's exciting to brainstorm, it's exciting to explore new things. But truly, truly, truly, we've got to stay focused on what we're doing. We've got to finish what we start. So that's what I want you to do. So use those four strategies. Let me know how it works for you. I absolutely hope you get the results that I'm experiencing in my life and in my business right now. Until next time, see you guys later and go be awesome.