Based on the answers you gave in your Focus Assessment quiz…
The challenges you may be facing right now are that you feel like you’re spinning your wheels. While this may also be related to a lack of clarity about where you should be focusing your energy, it’s likely that you struggle to actually do the things on your task list.
You may be great at coming up with new ideas and writing out to-do lists and starting new projects, but you struggle to complete things and see them through to the end.
You have at least one project — if not multiple — that you have been trying to finish. While you know that you need to focus on accomplishing it, you struggle to find the motivation to get going.
Another challenge you may be facing when it comes to gaining traction with projects is related to your workflows, systems, and processes. It may be that for all the projects you have going on, you don’t have a good system or process. And as a result, a significant amount of time is wasted just managing the work and not actually doing the work. Or worse, there are many things slipping and getting missed altogether.
Watch Out for Distractions
Distractions and diversions are a massive issue. And they can be lethal — especially when it comes to creative and knowledge work.
You need chunks of time that are completely uninterrupted (which may sound like an impossible dream to you right now). But more on that later.
Right now, you’ve got to protect the time you do have. Which means that even if you can get those uninterrupted hours, it still takes a little bit of time to work up to that place where you’re really focused and in the zone.
If, at that moment, someone interrupts you for just a couple minutes (or you give in to your own distractions), it takes a significant amount of time to get back to the same level of focus you were just at.
In addition to having un-distracted time, you also need to be confident that your time will be distraction free.
Merely having the anticipation of being distracted is like a leash that keeps us from diving into deep work. The back of our mind tells us that at any minute we could get tapped on the shoulder, or asked to come to a meeting, or our kids may barge into the office.
What You need
Focus on less. My friend, James Clear, recently said that making remarkable progress is not about doing more with what you have. It’s about choosing to do less and mastering what remains. It may be that in your efforts to gain traction and momentum, you need to focus on only that which is essential and will have the greatest leverage.
Take ownership of your work environment. You’ve got to be proactive about cutting off distractions at the pass. Take a step back and see what things and people are causing you to be distracted in any given day. And also what distractions do you anticipate. Then, consider what you will do to mitigate those distractions. (It may involve having a conversation with your co-workers, bosses, or even your spouse.)
Kick procrastination to the curb. I actually have a whole book on overcoming procrastination. The Procrastinator’s Guide to Progress will help you discover what’s feeding your tendency to put things off while also helping you learn about the times when you should be listening to your procrastination because it might be telling you something.
You can download the PDF version of my book for free, right here.