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Sydni Craig-Hart

SYDNI CRAIG-HART, expert marketing coach and consultant, supports service professionals in creating success – in both their businesses and their lives. Known as "The Smart Simple Marketing Coach," Sydni uses a results-focused, “how to” approach in implementing simple and customized strategies ...

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Business & Finance


Smart Simple Marketing

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12/07/2012 04:14pm
5 Steps to Banishing Distraction and Procrastination

Procrastination and distraction instantly derail your efforts to grow your business and achieve your goals. Follow these five steps to banish distraction and work more efficiently:

Step 1 - Get honest with yourself.

This step is hard for most people. It can be difficult to admit that you're not focused - but it's essential to get real about the situation. This isn't about judging yourself or beating yourself up. Your goal is to be more efficient and more productive, so take a deep breath and ask, "Where am I procrastinating or getting distracted?"

Make a list of the projects you seem to avoid. Pause and notice when you feel the urge to goof off on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other diversions. Notice what you are working on when you get distracted. In contrast, think about what you are working on when you get in the flow. When does time seem to fly by? You can use this evaluation to become more aware of your work habits.

Step 2 - Keep a time journal so you see exactly where your time is being spent.

For the next week, set an alarm on your smartphone or calendar to alert you every hour. When you hear the alarm, stop and list everything you have done in the last hour. What projects did you work on? What distracted you? What time wasting activities have you indulged in?

Remember, no judgment! You're not beating yourself up, just noticing. At the end of the week you should have a good idea of where you waste time. You'll also see your patterns. You'll learn when you are most likely to get distracted.

Step 3 - Resolve to make a change.

Make the decision that you will stay focused on the task at hand. Set a goal and set yourself up for success by creating accountability and a supportive environment.

Your goal should take into account where you're starting from. Don't expect to be focused for eight solid hours if you can only manage one hour now. Start by focusing for an additional hour and work your way up.

Creating accountability for yourself is critical. You can use an accountability system that requires you to post a list of everything they accomplished in a day. This daily exercise helps to develop better habits, keeps you motivated and encourages you to stay focused.

Set your environment up for success by making it difficult to get distracted. Turn off your phone ringers if you aren't expecting a call. Turn off your notification settings so you aren't tempted to check every email that comes in. Log out of your email if it's not a designated time to review your messages.

Step 4 - Develop a trigger to get you back on track when you get distracted.

Keep an eye on the clock! Plan to work for a set period of time. You can even set a timer to help you stay on track. After you have completed working for that time period, take a short break using the timer to remind you to get started again. Make sure you stop frequently to avoid burnout. Some experts recommend taking a brief 2-3 minute break every 25-30 minutes and a 15-30 minute break every two hours.

Step 5 - Review your results and make changes.

As with any goal, check-in regularly on your progress and make the necessary tweaks. Your plan isn't set in stone, so adjust as needed. Your needs will change as you build your efficiency muscles and end your procrastination habits.

Use your check-in to reward yourself for the progress you have made. It's easier to stick to a plan and follow through when you have something to look forward to.

If you are a procrastinator, you aren't doomed to failure. Follow these steps and you'll be efficient and focused in no time!

Known as "The Smart Simple Marketing Coach," the tech-savvy Sydni uses a results-focused, "how to" approach in implementing simple, customized strategies so service professionals create profitable businesses in which they enjoy the lifestyle they choose.

Visit http://www.SmartSimpleMarketing.com for your FR*EE training course, "5 Simple Steps to More Clients, More Visibility and More Freedom" and apply for a FR*EE "Profit Breakthrough" session with Sydni!


accountability, small business goals, small business growth, smart simple marketing, sydni craig-hart, time management
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