Keeping F.O.C.U.S.

By Andrea Costantine

In this day and age when we are receiving over 10,000 messages daily through the radio, Internet, email, television, blackberries, iPhone’s and more, the term “focus” seems like something of the past.  

Adults seem to be riddled with their own ADHD-like tendencies by checking emails incessantly throughout the day, answering midday unexpected phone calls, and getting interrupted every so often by co-workers, urgent emails, instant messages and texts.  

With all that interruption, no wonder we feel scattered, disorganized, and have complete lack of control.

I have created FIVE keys to help you keep the F.O.C.U.S.

F: Finish what you start  –  make time to finish anything that you start. If you are checking emails, respond to the emails right away. If you get your mail, go through it right then and there. Finish whatever project you are working on before moving on to the next item. Finishing what you start will leave you feeling like you accomplished a lot more in each day than half-heartedly doing multiple tasks.

O – Organize your life –  a clear office and workspace will keep you on task and less distracted. Keep up with administrative tasks by scheduling one day monthly to file, type up, organize, tie  up loose ends. When you are organized you will be more productive and will have a clear head to start every day. Clean your desk at the end of every workday, never leave with a stack of papers or anything messy that can start off the next day in a frenzy.

C-  Create the top six – Know the six most important items for you to work on, plan your day the night before and do those six items before you do anything else. Planning your day the night before gives your subconscious mind time to figure out how to complete those tasks you want to finish. Some people don’t even allow themselves to check emails or anything else until their top six items are completed. (These are highly productive, successful people!) Start with the top three if six is too much. 

U – Use time blocks – Use blocks or chunks of time for specific activities and tasks. Perhaps Monday is creation day, Tuesday’s are networking meetings, Wednesday’s are marketing days, etc. Even within those days you can block your time out even more narrowing down each task throughout the day and then having only a limited number of time to work on an ongoing project.  When you block your time and don’t allow interruptions, you can be more focused to get work done more timely.

S – Schedule wisely – schedule appointments according to your schedule, not everyone else’s.  If someone wants to see you on a Tuesday, but you only do appointments on Monday, wait until the following week to make that appointment.  Schedule everything including email time, working out, lunch, etc. Keep to a schedule and move along from task to task easily and effortlessly.

Consider this… when you are scattered and jumping from one thing to another, you can actually feel dissatisfaction at the end of your workday.  True focus is tough. I am surely not perfect at it but getting better and better. I do know how great I feel when I have had a truly focused day.

Sometimes focused work may only be an hour or two, but that hour or two could be leading you to a more prosperous life and business

(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Andrea Costantine is a writer, speaker, and wanna-be artist, focusing on the good things in life.  She is a perpetual optimist, lover of nature, yoga, travel, and new experiences.  Learn more about Andrea at www.andreacostantine.com.

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Is your business showing these 5 symptoms?

Reality: According to the SBA, 63% of all small businesses fail in the first 5 years.

OUCH! It sounds harsh, but it’s true. And having been in business for over 6 years, I can tell you I’ve seen many colleagues go the way of “have to get a job” in order to put food on the table and take care of their families.

And the sad part, many of those businesses could have succeeded. It’s generally not a lack of ideas, technology is rarely the issue and with the low cost of doing business online, it’s often not money.

The top reasons most small businesses fail are:

1. Lack of vision and systematic strategy — what’s the long-term (you decide what this means) vision for your business and how are you going to get there?

2. Lack of marketing system many business owners spend so much time reinventing the wheel around trying to get new clients that they either burn out or focus too much time on the “getting new ones” and not enough on the “serving existing ones”. Do you have a marketing system in place?

3. Lack of a client follow-up system — once clients are in the door, do you take care of them? Do you practice Extreme Client Care(tm)? Do you listen to them and create the products and programs they’re asking for? Our brains can’t multitask, they “task switch”. . .from this to that and back to this. And, as a result, neither task gets done as quickly, or as well, as if we’d simply focused on one at a time.

5. Doing everything ad-hoc without any systems — while it’s so easy for us to say “I don’t have time to create a system, I just need to get it done now”, truth is, without systems, you’re the one “doing it” all the time — unable to hand anything over to a support team. And this creates something far worse than a 9-to-5 job.

And I’d add the following. . .

* Not having a big enough reason “why” — that “thing” which pulls you forward when you’re otherwise tempted to quit. Hint. . .it’s rarely “money” by itself, it’s usually what that money can do for you/your family.

Make It Real: My Request To You

Review the 5 bullets above and ask yourself — is your business set up for success? Remembering that this is the basis of a successful business, systems and planning will only take you so far, strategic implementation is key!

And for those days when you just “don’t feel like it”, is your “why” big enough, strong enough to pull you forward to accomplishment?

I’m known for a simple statement: “Ordinary things, done consistently, bring extraordinary AND consistent results!”

What ordinary things are you doing consistently?

If you’re unsure or if you feel you’re being pulled in a thousand different directions, wondering what to focus on when for the most sustainable results, go check out my new “From Your Vision Board to Reality: Create Your Best Fall Ever” program now. . . you’ll be glad you did. 🙂

A Strategic Marketing & Profitability Mentor, Sandra Martini (www.SandraMartini.com), creator of Escalator Marketing™, shows creative heart-based entrepreneurs how to build sustainable businesses without losing their integrity or their minds.  You can catch up with Sandra on her blog at www.FromTheDeskOfSandraMartini.com or Twitter at www.Twitter.com/SandraMartini

B.L.O.G. – 4 Benefits to Blogging

By Sabrina Risley

With the aid of the Internet, it’s easier than ever to reach a larger audience, whether for business or personal reasons.  A blog is just one of the tools leveraged on the Internet. But what is a blog and how can a blog benefit your business?

The term Blog is a derivative of the words Web Log and it’s literally that… a log on the web. A blog can be best described as a diary-style website maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary or information that its author wants to share with site visitors.

There are countless advantages to blogging and I wanted to share 4 of the benefits with you.

B: Brand Recognition – Marketing is important but more important is having a brand people recognize. Brand recognition is established based on how you interact with your community, contacts, customers, vendors and anyone with whom you come in contact or have an impression. A blog aids in communicating with your audience, thus better establishing a recognizable brand.

L: Link to YOU – I’ve always reinforced that people buy from people. Maintaining a blog gives people some insight into you, the person behind the company. The topics you share and the personality you reveal in your writings add a personal touch and builds trust with your audience.

O: Optimization – As in search engine optimization or SEO. Maintaining a blog increases traffic from search engines, keeping you in front of your target market. It can also improve your ranking with the major search engines, allowing you to reach a wider base.

G: Guru Factor – Depending on the topics you write about, your blog can establish you as a subject matter expert or authority in your field. For this reason, it is recommended your blog entries be on topics related to the audience you want to attract. Since I have a networking and referral group organization, my audience most likely appreciates entries about related business growth topics.

Aside from paying for your domain and hosting and taking the time to do it, blogging is free. While it can be a great tool for business, blogging is not right for everyone. To be effective, it requires a small commitment of regular entries, such as once weekly or twice monthly, and on relevant topics your followers expect. Is blogging right for you? I encourage you to consider your overall marketing strategy to determine if blogging can assist you with brand recognition, connecting with you audience, increasing web traffic and establishing yourself as a subject matter expert.

(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking and referral group organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range, as well as referral groups that attract professionals who network to give rather than get.  You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business.  To learn more about Behind The Moon, please visit http://www.BehindTheMoonInc.com

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