Last week when I was clearing my studio space for my niece to work on her quilt to take to college, I seemed to get so distracted. I saw fabrics I thought would work nicely in a future project. I realized I needed to find a place for the notions that had already found a not-so-good spot. And, I found some book reviews I had clipped that seemed to be perfect for selections for our ICAP Book Club.
I had the same problem as many of my clients: the inability to stay focused and get done what needs to be done. It can be because you are distracted by other options, whether that’s the other stuff in the room or another great idea that is beckoning.
Yes, you, too, are infected with Bright Shiny Object Syndrome. As you can see, I have been there. Sometimes in my office I get totally distracted by the projects I want to make or the books/tools that just arrived or the idea I have for a new product or all the blogs that call me to tour them. How do you get past this? Here are a few ideas:
Take a break.
Right now you could be overwhelmed rather than just distracted. This could be an hour or it could be a few days for yourself. You’ll find yourself more refreshed and ready to work. The work will still be there when you are ready.
Remember your “why.”
What is your purpose and how is what you want to accomplish leading you in that direction? Often the distraction is because you’ve lost sight of what you are doing. If you go back and reconnect with your why, you’ll find what you need to leave that distraction behind.
Prioritize what needs to be done.
Prioritize by what projects/objects will provide you with the best return on your investment, (i.e., what will bring money into your business?) This is often all it will take to focus.
Write down the distraction in your planner or idea notebook.
I have a notebook or journal where I track what is going on in my business and it is filled with ideas. If I write it down there, it gets it out of my mind and I can go back to focusing where I should be. When I’m looking for a new idea, I know right where to look.
Clean up your environment so the objects are not in front of you.
If you are working on your computer, shut down your email and your Internet browser, so they won’t distract you. If you must keep your browser open, limit the number of open tabs. You can always go back to them later. Stop the app notifications. Fewer distractions, remember.
Work in a different environment.
When I am working on content for the Members Studio, I often do this on the porch in nice weather and the living room in colder weather. The living room does not have lots of BSOs – other than the kaleidoscope collection, which I am not sure why I can avoid it. When I suggested that one of my clients look for a spot to work without distractions, she zeroed in on her dining room and quickly got all her work done. Find the space that will work for you, whether it is a different room in your home or even the local library or coffee shop.
Schedule time for BSOs.
If you know you will be distracted by that blog tour in the middle of the day, schedule it for later in the day or the weekend. That way you will enjoy it, and you won’t feel guilty about not getting your work completed.
How do handle all the bright shiny objects that call you during the day? Please share your ideas below.