Are you planning for the new year or the next quarter and your mind is racing…
You have a million different ideas and directions.
You know you need to be doing that and this and you absolutely cannot avoid that!
If you were to peek in my mind several months ago, here’s some of what I was struggling with:
So do I focus on one social media channel or three at first? She says one but she says three. What’s the right answer?
Work backwards Have a product in mind and form your content around it. If I don’t start selling soon, people will unsubscribe when I do
You need to have a premium course. Low price is seen as low value.
I was reading up a lot on blogging and these were the kinds of advice and information I was exposed to.
Needless to say, I was lost and overwhelmed.
What do you do first? What comes next? Who is right?
It’s hard to stay focused with your blog when the world pulls you in a million different directions. Because you get overwhelmed, straddle between things and end up doing nothing.
So how do you do it?
In this post, I talk about 7 ways that have helped me stay focused with my blog and how they can help you do the same.
7 ways to stay focused with your blog even through all the distractionsClick To Tweet
#1 Determine your blogging stage
Your blogging stage plays a huge role in determining the types of tasks and goals you should focus on.
When you break down the entire blogging journey into stages, it keeps you from feeling overwhelmed and puts your focus on the most immediate milestones at hand.
A person who is just launching should have different focus and goals from someone who already has 500-1000 subscribers on their list.
When you have a clear stage by stage breakdown and do stage appropriate tasks, you will actually feel like you’re making progress with your blog.Your blogging stage plays a huge role in determining the types of tasks and goals you should focus on. Click To Tweet
#2 Set goals big and small
It’s hard to stay focused online because you are exposed to so many new ideas, strategies, and info products all at once.
It’s easy to sway from one thing to another…implementing a different strategy every other day, without a clear idea of where you’re going.
This is why goals are so important. There are 2 ways you can look at goals.
You have big goals and little goals.
Big hairy audacious goals (BHAG)
BHAG is a term introduced by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in their book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.
These are goals that usually have a time-frame of 5, 10 or 15 years.
When you keep these goals on your wall, you immediately chart a certain path to get there.
Every time you’re at a crossroads with a decision you have to take, ask yourself which decision will align you more closely with your long term goal….Which decision will help you achieve that goal? This streamlines your efforts on what you need to do to get there.
If you can’t think that far ahead, why not start with 3 years?
3 years work perfectly because it’s a substantial period of time but also near enough that you have a sense of urgency to want to get there.
Here are examples of things that will fall within BHAG:
- Be a panel speaker at a summit or local moms’ group
- Speak at a TEDx talk
- Open a physical retail store
- Wholesale for a specific brand
- Write and publish a book and get it on amazon
These are goals that you have for the month or quarter.
I personally prefer to work at a quarter stretch because when I sit with 2 goals for a quarter, I make a lot more progress than if I sit with it for a month.
Some goals take longer to come to fruition as well. Here are some examples of small goals:
- Work on increasing visibility
- Work on increasing traffic
- Nurture audience
Now, if you notice, these small goals are pretty vague.
How do you quantify a goal such as ‘nurture audience’?
Here’s where you break down small goals into actions that you can directly influence which is next on the list.
#3 Choose actions you can directly influence
Many solopreneurs and bloggers have goals but here’s where it goes wrong.
Most of them focus on metrics and stat such as page views, followers, and likes.
While metrics and stats are no doubt important, these will often leave you feeling demoralized and jaded. These are numbers that you cannot directly influence.
For instance, have a look at this target–Get 10,000 page views within 3 months.
You can’t influence this directly. But here’s what you can influence:
- Create a specific lead magnet aligned with each post you write
- Pitch 1 site a week to guest post on
- Focus on building 1 social media platform where your target audience hangs out on
- Run a paid ad campaign
See the difference?
By focusing on actions you can directly influence, you won’t be tied down to metrics or statistics.
You will also work towards tasks that you can directly impact.By focusing on actions you can directly influence, you won’t be tied down to vanity metricsClick To Tweet
#4 2Ws – Decide what to consume and when to stop
When you feel overwhelmed, ask yourself: What do you need to do right now to make progress?
Consume content that’s aligned with this.
For instance, if you’re new to blogging and you don’t intend to launch a course anytime in the next 6 months, don’t sign up for webinars, courses or summits on online course creation.
They detract from your goals for this stage in your blogging journey.
It’s tempting to want to consume as much information as you can but if you can’t implement it then there really is no point is there?
Put a cap on the number of podcasts you will listen to a week.
Put a cap on the number of webinars you sign up for in a week
You will reach a stage where you have enough material on your hand to start. Consuming information is a way of stalling.
The faster you recognize that the easier it is to move on and take action.
Take it from someone who stalled launching this blog for 6 months.When you feel overwhelmed, ask yourself: What do you need to do right now to make progress?Click To Tweet
#5 Invest only in courses and info products critical for your current growth
With new e-courses being released every other week, how do you resist the temptation to invest in something that you won’t end up implementing?
Ask yourself: What course would move the needle for you at this stage in your business?
Is there a particular skill you need to move forward? Do you need to invest in a certain tool or course that would help in getting over a plateau or to move forward? For many entrepreneurs, this might be switching to a new software platform, public speaking or writing better copy.
Invest only in those courses that are critical for your current growth. See the course to end before moving on.
When I purchase a course, I binge on the lessons and videos for a few days.
I carve out time to do nothing but that.
What I’ve come to realize is that the sooner I go through the material after purchasing a course, the higher the chances of me finishing it.
Think about it. you’re excited about your purchase. You paid money hoping to see results. This is when your motivation is the highest.
So finish a course as soon as you buy it before moving onBefore investing, ask yourself if a course will move the needle for you at this business stageClick To Tweet
#6 Determine how much time you have
This is a big one.
We often try to fit too much into our schedule.
Determine how much time you have and schedule in your tasks.
What doesn’t get scheduled, doesn’t get done. It’s nice to think you can work on a blog post when the kids have gone to bed at night but most of the time you are too tired from the day to do anything that heavy. Maybe a lighter task would fit in then?
It’s easier to split your day into blocks and reasonably schedule in tasks. This leads me to the next point…What doesn't get scheduled doesn't get done.Click To Tweet
#7 Categorize your blogging tasks
Writing is very different in nature from designing images. Likewise, blog maintenance tasks are very different in nature as well.
When you mix too many different types of tasks per day you’re not being productive.
Switching between tasks sucks up time and energy because the brain has to recall instructions on how to do a previous task before getting into the swing of things. Our brains are simply not able to cope with this context switching and it can “add up to a loss of 40%” of our productivity.
This is where batching comes into play. For instance, if you’ve written a solid, lengthy blog post on 1 category from your blog, maximize that opportunity. The research and keywords are still fresh in your mind. Think of ways you can repurpose your content. Or if you’re working on your site, try and get as many things done as possible.
You will end up getting a lot more work done than when you were juggling a few things at a time.
Stay grounded to your ‘why’
With blogging, you can never be ‘done’. There is always something you can do better.
It’s easy to be thrown off tangent by looking at the magnitude of work in front of you.
But aim to make progress every single day and look at your most immediate milestones.
Because you need to know where you are going and what you want to achieve before even planning to get there.
Anything that doesn’t fit in with your plan stays outside – at least for now.
That’s the best way to prevent overwhelm from sabotaging you and your blog.
Want to dive into this in detail? Check out my eBook and how I use the 5-step process.