Stay Focused, Grasshopper.

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Alyson Stanfield wrote a blog post today, 7 Tips for Staying Focused, that had me revisiting that topic that’s always in my head.

There was a time years ago when I found myself becoming a news junkie. I finally put the brakes on and trained myself to consciously ask myself throughout the day, “Is this moving your business forward?” Obviously I don’t want to be 100% strict about that but it helps me achieve the balance I’m looking for and stay focused on my business.

Then social media showed up. Yikes, what a double-edged sword that stuff is! It’s an important part of what I do for Rochester Artisans and my own business. I freakin’ love Facebook, for business and pleasure. But I have to remind myself every now and then to focus on what’s important.

I’m pretty easily motivated (clutter and looking at my finances are my best motivators!) but even I sometimes experience “Paralysis by Analysis”. Too much to do, where to start? I could do this but really, I should that first, but then this other thing really needs to be done so I do those other things. I finally snap myself out of it because I detest laziness. Just do something.

I clearly remember when my young adult son said to me one time, “I used to wait around for situations to fix themselves. Now I think you just have to do it.”

What?? Are you sure??

Most recently I’ve become a marketing junkie. There are so many marketing blogs and programs out there and when I find one I connect with I subscribe to their newsletter or blog feed. They motivate me so much that I can barely finish the article without wanting to get moving! And because they are good at what they do, their contact is pretty consistent.

I get a lot of email and being a fan of organization, I have lots of rules set up so emails are filtered into specific folders, so stuff doesn’t get lost. Or read, apparently.

I think the volume of unread email is weighing me down and making me feel anxious. So this week I’ve been unsubscribing to a bunch of things I haven’t been reading. It’s like with clothes – they say if you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it. Believe me, going through this process has been both difficult and easy. After all, I subscribed to these things in the first place because I liked them.

Man Touching Tablet

Groupon? I’ve only bought things a few times over time, but I’m on a strict budget now and won’t allow myself to buy anything not 100% necessary. Easy. Unsubscribe.

I even had my beloved Alyson Stanfield going to her own folder! When a friend emailed me a valuable link Alyson had provided recently, I realized I need her front and center. I deleted the rule. Alyson visits me in my In Box now.

I’m not done purging email yet but I already feel better, having made the decision. I liken this to my successful campaign a few years ago to get us removed from junk mail mailing lists. (Find the website, click Contact, fill out the online form or get the appropriate email address and sent them a nice note, asking to be removed from their mailing list, supplying your name & address from the mail received from them. Takes a minute or less. Don’t over-explain, you’re not hurting their feelings, they don’t care – they want a “clean” list!)

Couple that with the fact that we’re an electronic family – most bills and statements are sent to us electronically – we have a decent number of days where we get no US Mail at all.

I’ve already seen a drop in incoming email. It’s a little weird at first, but it’s soon becoming my new normal.

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1 Comment

Filed under Food for Thought, Tools for Artists

One response to “Stay Focused, Grasshopper.

  1. Thanks for the reminder to focus and get this book read. But I’d really rather be in the studio! Maybe if I can get it on audio book I can listen and learn while I work. That would make Alyson proud!

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