As a culture, we are in a state of extreme “Attention Deficit”. Many who are trying to market their businesses are suffering from overwhelm: thoroughly distracted, befuddled and off purpose. I see this situation as tragic, not only because of the toll it takes on the entrepreneur, but also the effect on those around them and how it undermines their true mission in the world. Distractions and diversions waste time and energy. If allowed to continue, the results are truly tragic: a life unlived, mission thwarted and a planet that is less served. As individuals, we can correct this condition with a change in perspective and a few simple practices.
Many training programs teach us how to manage distractions, or even how to select the right projects but very few address the root cause of overwhelm and distraction. Summed up simply: the problem of overwhelm is more often than not that we are working on the wrong things! In other words, tactics without STRATEGY is a fast path to disaster.
How do we select the right things to work on? How can we tell the difference between a project that is an unproductive distraction and one that will further our goals? Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference until it is too late. For example, a program that teaches us how to market using video might be exactly the right thing for one entrepreneur to learn and can end up wasting a whole season without result for another.
In order to make these important choices, we need to look below the surface. We need to see problems as opportunities to reassess.
More often that not, when overwhelm first presents itself, most people react to it by working harder… by setting aside the things in life that give us well-being and joy. The underlying belief in this choice is that by working harder, we will navigate our way through the list of tasks and the joy we seek will be on the other side. Even when presented with evidence to the contrary, we make this choice to work harder.
We come by this behavior honestly. We have been taught that hard work is valuable. We have been taught that dessert comes after dinner, that reward follows hard work–to save the best until last.
What if overwhelm were a choice?
Practice setting aside the time to be.
See your number one mission as this: reducing pressure and noise so you can evoke your best work –and more importantly, the right work.