How To Stay Focused

Image used courtesy of Danimezza and Kids Business

As I noted in a post earlier this week, I spoke at a Bloggers Brunch last Friday. Myself along with the other four speakers all talked about different aspects of goal setting and achieving our goals. I spoke specifically on blogging goals, but the key points I made are relevant to any project or side activity you may be working on.

As it is the time of the month that I review my monthly progress towards my goals, I thought I would share with you some of what I spoke about.

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During the week’s holiday I took from the online world, I had time to reflect on how I was traveling for my goals for 2011. One thing was very clear – I had fallen into the busyness trap!  Yes I was busy, yes I was doing lots of work, but was I doing the important work that was going to help me achieve my goals.  Some of it yes, but not enough – lots of my time was being spent on other things that while maybe urgent or fun weren’t the best use of my time.

Sometimes you need time away from something you are close to, to be able honestly assess how it is going.  From my time away I have come back with new perspective and and determination to change some of my behaviours and do things differently.  Now these aren’t new techniques and some are things I have done before and know they work.  I had just gotten out of the habit of doing them:

  1. Not let my inbox rule my life.  I love my iPhone but the constant connectivity can be addictive! I am not going to check it hourly, but at two key periods through out the day.  One, when the toddler goes down for his sleep after lunch and then later in the evening.
  2. Write my blogging to do list each night before I go to bed. I had been only doing a home list really and when I had time to go online, I would not have a plan in my head of what I was going to achieve. As a consequence I would waste quite a bit of time flitting between applications.
  3. Do the important first.  When I do get online, tackle one of the important tasks on my to do list first before going on twitter, fb etc. I don’t necessarily have to complete it, but I need to spend at least 30 minutes on it. What was happening often was I would just check email or read a few blogs first, then the next thing I knew toddler nap time was over and I hadn’t really achieved what I would have liked to.
  4. Re-energise myself with proper breaks. When I have a few hours of time available on weekends, I will often spend 3 or so hours straight in front of the computer. I need to make sure I give my brain a little rest and my body a shake up. I need to be getting outside for short breaks during this time and having a play with the kids.

It has only been a few weeks, working like this, but I do feel more in control of my work load. I am now feeling more confident that over the next half of the year, that if I stick to my new modus operandi, I will indeed achieve my goals for 2011.

Monthly Review for July

As I undertook a half yearly review at the start of July, I didn’t state exact goals for the rest of the month. The key focus for the month of July were my week off and presentations for the Bloggers Brunch and Blogopolis which I completed!

For August I would like to achieve the following:

  • Stick to my new four rules outlined above!
  • Taking the family out to dinner.
  • Visit / call our lovely Nanas.
  • Begin promoting e version of the Planning With Kids book.

What do you hope to achieve in August?

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7 comments...read them below or add one

  • Bernadine August 05, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Perfect timing to discover your blog! I have just started my own and I must say I am feeling overwhelmed and feel like I am getting consumed by my computer. Of course my children come first but when I do have a spare moment I am sitting endlessly in front of the screen without feeling like much is acheived. After reading your blog I am going to get clear goals, I will write a blog to do list and I also think setting clear and precise goals for each month is a great start
    THANKS – I don’t feel so frazzled now

  • Crash Test Mummy August 06, 2011 at 8:14 am

    This is very timely for me too! My blog is a week old and already I’m finding myself overwhelmed with the busyness of it all. Ironic given that I started it to help my adrenal fatigue (oops). I’m off to set 4 goals for August. I also like your no social media rule before achieving a task. Those toddler naps fly by!
    Laney :)

  • KJ August 06, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Oh I’ve been wondering if you had an ebook version, has it been released yet? if not is there a date I can look forward to?

  • Julie August 06, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Thanks Nicole. This is inspirational!

    I am generally well-organised with things in my life and home, but when it comes to the computer, I am hopeless! I fall into every trap you have mentioned – checking email constantly, but not responding, spending all my online time reading blogs or Facebook rather than writing anything, and coming to the computer with no plan (or getting too easily side-tracked from the plan!). I really need to get some structure into my online time to avoid it eating into my “real-life” time too much.

    I’m going to start with some of your pointers.

  • Bernadine August 08, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Me again! Just wanted to say that I spent time over the weekend planning my blog and where I want it to go over the next month and now I am enjoying it! It is not so frazzled and I feel more in control – thanks for advice

  • canteen website August 11, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Very interesting article on How To Stay Focused On Your Goals,
    I think your advice is very useful for me . specially “Re-energise myself with proper breaks”

  • Monthly Review, August 2011 and Saying No September 02, 2011 at 3:32 am

    [...] to get better and prioritising which ones I accept and simply limit how many I accept.Stick to my new four rules. Went well on three of them, but still struggling with always doing the important things first. [...]