Finding (daily) Focus Within the Chaos

In this post

Part of being a creative person is that you do get pulled in all these different directions, right? You’re always wanting to, like explore and that’s where the beauty and the the creativity and the really unique, unique ideas come from right?  It’s when you can kind of play and let yourself get pulled in the different directions. But then the problem that we have is that the things that we don’t want to do kind of don’t get done or we don’t enjoy it, or it feels like a chore and then we’re like why am I even running this business?

So anyway.. Here’s a little strategy I teach, and use myself when there’s a never ending to do list of random things that keep morphing into a bigger more chaotic task dragon… don’t fight it… be it’s friend. You know you wanna! But you gotta tame it right?

I hope you enjoy it, if you do let me know so I can give you more ramblings 🙂


The below blog is a transcription from an instagram live I jumped on to do. Why publish it on the blog? SEO! But also, I figure it’s better to have unpolished content that is authentic and (hopefully) helpful than to try to do everything perfectly and never end up doing it right? Anyway, it’s probably better to watch the video or listen to the audio above, but if you want to read my ramblings (I mean ✨musings✨) then be my guest!

Anyway…  I just got home from from a mentoring session. And I thought it was going to another mentoring session, but actually we rescheduled it. And I’m in mentoring mode. So I thought I would share something that I shared with my mentee tonight who is a cafe owner, and who is like just going through all the chaos of running a business with staff and doing all the things and having different things pulling every which way, and cash flow problems and all of the things and we came up with a really cool idea which I’ve used myself. And I’ve suggested to people before and I actually thought it might be helpful for some of you.
Anyway…. part of being a creative person is that you do get pulled in all these different directions, right? You’re always wanting to, like explore and that’s where the beauty and the the creativity and the really unique, unique ideas come from right?  It’s when you can kind of play and let yourself get pulled in the different directions.
But then the problem that we have is that the things that we don’t want to do kind of don’t get done or we don’t enjoy it, or it feels like a chore and then we’re like why am I even running this business? Because this isn’t fun to me anymore.  Or, like, oh, we just get really stressed and things get really chaotic and especially at this time of year, where there’s hits of markets or there’s hits of events or there’s like Black Friday and like just all of this stuff.
It’s it’s really hard to keep on top of it all as a one person show which most of you probably are. Which is a shame because I think a lot of the magic in small business does come from collaboration. But that’s not always possible, right?
So…

Finding focus within chaos.

Anyway… the strategy that I want to talk to you about is it’s kind of more about having a daily intention.
And that intention is repeated every week.
So you have an intention for Mondays and intention for Tuesdays and intention for Wednesdays or whatever your days are.
Maybe you only have three days a week to work on your business.
Then you have three intentions.

Example Intentions

  • Doing your accounts (ughhhhh… invoicing, paying my staff, thinking about money, thinking about ✨profit ✨ … that thing that the business is apparently supposed to be about… because following your passions isn’t good enough for capitalism am I right?)
  • Marketing – that’s your socials, your website, your branding, your packaging and your overall strategy…
  • Product development. Playing…. Giving yourself room to experiment. Thinking about what people love about your products, and what doesn’t sell… and tinkering…

Your intentions are going to look different depending on who you are in the business that you run, although for a lot of cases, they’re going to be kind of the same as well, right?

Like we all need money. We all need to do marketing, and we all need to develop our products, but there may be some other more urgent things that you need to do.

If you have staff, you might need to you know, run team meetings and do training etc.

The purpose of the daily focus

So the reason behind the daily focus is that when you’ve got things coming at you all the time, it can be really hard to prioritize what to do on the spot. For exmpla… do I apply for this market now? Or do I apply for it later and potentially forget about it or miss out or do a rush job or whatever. And so you kind of jump from thing to thing. And it kind of feels like you’re not doing any of it 100% right, you’re doing it 80% or 70% or not doing it at all, and just thinking about doing it and then being hard on yourself and not doing it.

And so one of the purposes of the daily intention is that when this opportunity for a market comes at you on a Monday, you can go oh, that’s a Wednesday job! I’m going to put it on my Wednesday list. And it’s done. Right. It is effectively out of your mind and delegated to Wednesday. (this is when I realised I am wearing a jumper that says “ask me later” and had a little chuckle).

And then the other kind of point of the intentions is that when you do inevitebly go off track that you can check in with yourself (maybe with a post it note or maybe with reminders on your phone). The intention & the reminder helps you come back to the general task at hand, and helps you delegate the things to later you in a way that means they might actually get done.

So I just wanted to share that concept and see what you’ll think. And you know, maybe hear about what works for you in this way.

How I manage my lists…

For me, I have lists on Trello boards for each focus and I don’t necessarily have a day of the week that I do it because my weeks always changing because I have so many jobs. But what I do have is these lists that get bigger and bigger and bigger, right and so I can go okay, that list needs tending to that’s the focus and then I will steamroll through those things (which drives my team nuts – this week it was all about procedures. So sorry guys).

Yeah, so if you are feeling like, you just can’t keep on top of all the things and that there’s just too many things try it out!

Getting Started

I would suggest that you sit down the second after you watch this video and you just close your phone or open your notes app but probably close your phone, grab a piece of paper and just like quickly brain dump out all of the things that you haven’t been doing and that you need to do and that you would like to do. And then leave it. go put it on your keyboard or go put it on your workbench or next to the coffee thing or wherever you’re going to see it. And then tomorrow in the morning, look at that with fresh eyes and work out what are the common threads

Finding the common threads

  • Which ones naturally go together?
  • And which ones can I of stack together

Finding the time

And then have a look at your schedule and the limited time that you have and just see if any of those things slot in and it might be that one of those things is a thing that you can do with another person, right? Maybe there’s a body double that you can get to work with you, maybe another business owner that also is really bad at listing things on their website (I’m looking at all of you, by the way and me too… all of us) it’s tedious and boring and we don’t want to do it. But it’s a lot easier with a friend. So kind of getting together and finding ways to make work more collaborative while you work on your own thing.

Or if you’re a person that prefers to work alone, finding ways to insert some novelty or fun into that process.

I quite like working on my own but I also like working with other people and I very much depend on people following up on things because I can get completely absorbed in. a new project. But I know that about myself and so I share that with the people I work with.. and it’s OK. We all work differently! I think that knowing that your habits and your the the traps that you tend to fall into that self awareness is really helpful when you’re trying to work these things out. So be kind to yourself, figure out your own version of things, and go with it. Even if you only do it once and completely forget about it!

I hope you find this helpful, and if you do, please let me know because I would like to know that someone on the internet used it!

And if you would like help going through the list, you know where I am 😊.

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