Nov
24

Keeping Focused with a New Business

by on Nov. 24, 2012

One of the most challenging parts of being a small business owner is keeping up with the myriad day to day tasks that must be accomplished for the health of the business.  It is always useful to be able to multi-task, but this skill does not come easily to me, and I find myself losing focus over time if I am thinking of all the other things that need to be accomplished in my day.

I’ve found the following practice very helpful:

Keep a Journal with you at All Times

This one tip has served me better than any software I have purchased, any guru’s book I have read, or any course I have taken.  Write down everything.  Write down every idea that pops in to your head (except something like “I want ice cream”) that relates to your business.  Even seemingly silly or inane ideas.  Write in your journal every day.

Each week, review your notes.  Pick out the major themes for the week and consolidate the week’s notes into a single page of text.  This is your project plan.  Continue to fill out the details of the ideas that come up.

I’ll give you an example.  I use Twitter regularly (find me under @MatthewDCarlson).  I started coming up with an idea about how to write a useful application for Twitter.  I begin to research the Twitter API.  I open a file on my computer, and keep track of what I find.  I save the file as “Twitter Notes” or better yet, “Twitter Development Project Plan”.  I have my container for future notes that are related to this subject.  A seemingly trivial idea on one day, can build over time to become a serious idea that transforms into a business of its own.  It’s important to approach your thoughts with respect.  Respect the voice and the energy behind them.  Don’t only respect it.  Do what it tells you.

I’ve been meditating for many, many years, and this single point is the most important and bears the most fruit.  Quiet your mind, focus on your subject, write down the thoughts that arrive, and continue each day to add to the energy behind each one.  It’s almost like a train gaining speed.  Once it gets going, it’s very difficult to stop.  I use my internal energy to bring up the thought, examine it, and bring it into real existence in the world.

If you’ve read this far, one more thing…make sure you keep your business tax information updated and send in any sales tax reports on time!  I made a $20 error by not filing on time this week, and felt frustrated, but now I have a system in place to take care of this.  It’s on my project plan.

 

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