In my last post, “Why Focus Matters As A Digital Marketer“, I shared that in my opinion, the biggest thing holding digital marketers back from being as successful (as they could be) is a lack of focus. With such drive and attraction to learning new things (a common trait among digital marketers), I am not surprised at all by this. Click here to read the entire post.
Today, I want to share with you the 4 Focus Traps that digital marketers can fall into (if they’re not careful). Avoiding these 4 traps can keep you on the path to success and more freedom.
The 4 Focus Traps
The first focus trap is multi-tasking. I just want to start out by saying that being good at multi-tasking is a myth. In my opinion, being a “good” multi-tasker simply means that you’re likely lousy at doing a lot of things at once.
Doing multiple tasks at once is a very common practice in America. The common mindset is that if we are hard-working and really motivated, of course we can do more than one thing at once and do them all well…I mean, we’re “Americans”, of course we can (insert sarcasm). Yes, a little prideful, but yet a very common mindset.
Unfortunately, being a good multi-tasker is a myth. There’s a quote that I think sums it up perfectly and it’s “To do two things at once…is to do neither.”
Another quote that I’ve heard is “Multi-tasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time.”
If you disagree and say, “Chris, I can do two more things at once, like walking and chewing gum.” I’m not going to disagree with you, but I’m a firm believer that you can’t focus on two things at once. You may be able to do two things at once, but you can’t focus on more than two things at once and do them both well.
#2: To-Do Lists
The second focus trap is the “To-Do list,” which may surprise you. While a To-Do list can be a useful collection of our best intentions, it can also master us with trivial, unimportant stuff that we feel obligated to get done because…it’s on our list.
Have you ever added things to your To-Do list after you’ve already done them, just so that you can put them on your list and have the satisfaction of checking them off?
I know I have. So, if that’s you too, I’m totally there with you. But, what I found is that top performers, achievers and world changers rarely create page-long To-Do lists, they work from a clear sense of priority. They’re not just trying to get a lot of stuff done, they are set on doing a few things really well, with intention and focus.
So, instead of having a To-Do list, I recommend you have a Priority List that keeps you focused and helps you get extraordinary results.
In my “Focus In 30“ coaching program, my clients use a Priority list that I call The Weekly Tracker, which helps them prioritize the 1-4 most important tasks to complete each day.
So, while a To-Do list can get really long, a Priority list is often shorter. One pulls you in all directions, the other one pulls you in a specific direction.
#3: The “I Lack Discipline” Mindset
Focus trap number three is what I call the “I lack discipline” mindset. I hear this a lot from clients, “You know, I just don’t have the discipline to be this focused and strategic.”
I would probably fall into this camp, as well. The good news is that I firmly believe you don’t need to be a disciplined person to be successful. Before you call me a lunatic, hear me out.
I believe success is about doing a few things really well and not having to do everything well. Think of it as adopting a few focused, success habits instead of having to check off 100 tasks on your To-Do list every day. Does this make sense to you?
So, the trick is to choose the right habit to adopt and bring just enough discipline to really establish that habit. It’s not about being disciplined 24/7 in everything you do, it’s more about adapting a selective discipline mindset.
Developing a few success habits not only makes you more successful, it actually simplifies your life, so your life gets clearer and less complicated because you know what you have to do well (and what you don’t have to do).
#4: Big is bad
Focus trap number four is that “going big is bad” (and much more stressful). I think a lot of times when we are dreaming big and setting big goals, we have the assumption that setting a big goal is bad…and that’s really not true, in fact it’s a lie.
I would argue for opposite. I believe going small is bad and it makes things a lot more stressful and complicated. This may seem very counter-intuitive, so I’m going to explain what I mean.
Those who set small, long-term goals experience this scenario. When you play small, it’s much more competitive, because you’re fighting it out with everyone else who’s playing small. And there are a lot more people out there in our society that are playing small and you’re going to have to compete against them all. So, in reality, it’s more complicated and stressful.
But if you go big with your long-term goals, there aren’t as many people out there who are playing big. It makes the entire process a lot simpler and you can actually put most of your energy towards taking action, instead of using up your energy to fight it out with everyone else going small.
So big is good and I encourage you to GO BIG.
Because focus can be really difficult for digital marketers, I created a “30-day Coaching Program” that is solely dedicated to helping you get focused. It’s called “Focus In 30“.
If you’re interested and would like to find out if it is a good fit for you, feel free to schedule a quick 15 minute call with me.
Click here to schedule
Chris Rudolph is a husband, father of 3, and a Freedom Business Coach for Digital Marketers. He specializes in working with those who are underpaid, hustling around the clock or missing out on valuable family time build their own Freedom Agency. He helps them grow their income, scale with a team and enjoy more time with their family.