Do you run your own business? As a small business owner, it’s very easy to feel like you’re all over the place, working a lot and achieving very little. With so many forces pulling you this way and that, it can be so hard to focus. Days to turn into months and the things you wanted to achieve seem like distant memories.
Can you relate? Is your endless “to-do” list driving you nuts and destroying your soul?
If you’re nodding your head and having another drink (of coffee or tea, of course), there’s an easy way to cut your to do list, prioritise your day and generally feel like you’re “on top of things”. That sounds nice, doesn’t it?
My 5 Minute Goal Setting Exercise
Of course this process can be a much larger one, involving meditations, candles and general “feel good” vibes (which is lovely, by the way). But, let’s keep this ultra-simple, so you can do it right now. Here’s what to do:
- Take out a piece of paper and grab a pen.
- Take a few deep breaths and let go of whatever is happening in your life – just for a moment.
- Think about what you love doing, what makes you happy? Now visualise yourself doing this “work”. What does it look like? Write down what this “vision” looks like. Give it a name – what is your job title?
- It’s ok if this seems far away – what do you have to do to get there? What steps or stages do you have to move through to arrive at your vision? Jot these down.
- If you need to summarise it, then write “Goal” and write a sentence or your job title – so it’s clear where you’re headed.
- Underneath all this – write down:
“Is it related to the goal? No = distraction”.
Underline this, or even put a star next to it. Whatever your thing for “don’t forget this” is. Grab a highlighter if need be!
Now stick this piece of paper in front of your workspace, on the wall or on a vision board if you have one.
Now if you want bonus points, get out your to do list and look at what on the list is in no way going to help you get to your goal. Then cross it off. Simple.
This might seem overly simplified, but the one thing that holds a lot of people back from getting things done, or makes them feel overwhelmed, is the fact that they have too much on. They are trying to do everything – and it bogs them down.
It’s easy to see what everyone else is doing or read about the “next big thing” and then want to do it all too. It becomes overwhelming. And demotivating.
Then you do nothing – or, get so lost in the busy-ness of it all that life rolls on by.
Just remember that although it may appear as though successful people are doing “it all”, they took a long time to get there. They may also have a team behind them and have probably tested a million things out before they landed where they are.
The good thing is, the one quality all these people have is being focused – they know what their desired outcome is and they do very little that doesn’t steer them towards it. Anything that doesn’t help you get to the goal is a distraction and should be avoided or crossed off the “to do” list.
I know, because if I don’t carry out this type of exercise regularly, I get consumed by “busyness”. It’s for this reason, I like to do this in some form weekly, to make sure I’m on track. Not only does it help keep me moving on the right path, it makes it clear what type of work I should be doing, what content I need to create and what education I need to undertake. Plus, it makes me happy I’m doing something I want. We all like to feel in control.
It sounds harsh, but it makes you achieve so much more and applies a clear focus and direction to your day.
Did this exercise help you feel more focused and less overwhelmed? I’d love to know!
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Note: this blog post was first published in 2015 and I’ve gone back and spruced it up!
Hey, I’m Kristy
Kristy Morton is a mother, multiple business owner and numbers gal. She runs a web development consultancy, specialising in WordPress websites. Kristy combines her excellent technical knowledge with her ability to translate this into ways that are understandable to the average person, so her clients feel informed and in control of how their websites are developed and managed. She is also the Co-Founder of B Directory where the team is supercharging small business growth.
Despite seeming like an overachiever, Kristy admits to always be chasing the sun, a simple life and one more homemade chocolate.