The Distraction Keeping You From Your Dreams

A few months ago I ran an experiment on social media. Using Instagram, Twitter and Facebook I asked bloggers and entrepreneurs what their biggest time management issue was and what distractions stopped them from reaching their goals, mastering their side hustle and working on their craft. The answers were pretty much what you’d expect; social media, naps, lack of motivation, Netflix and so on. When really looking at these I saw one common thread: them. The biggest distraction keeping you from accomplishing your goals is you. Unless the answer to that question is “being held hostage” or “divine intervention” you have control how you spend your time. As long as you keep making those excuses and allowing these distractions to interrupt your working time you won’t accomplish your goals.

It’s About What You Want

Have you ever had a friend or family member call you in the middle of a week and say, “Hey I’m going to be in town this weekend? Do you have any time to meet up?

If you’re like me, then the first answer to that is probably, “No, I’m booked solid.

You probably have your whole week and weekend planned out or assigned to other events and people but what do you do? You make time.

You may have a bridal shower, first date and friend’s birthday party that night but you figure out how to squeeze in that surprise guest. Why? Because you want to.

You may be thinking, “but I do want to launch my email course,” or “I want to publish my book, but I don’t have the time.”

Why can’t you make the time? I get it really I do, even if you love writing there will be times where you’d rather watch Netflix then turn off the television and write. Heck, there are nights where I know I need to go to bed and end up watching three episodes of Raising Hope on Netflix, then the next thing I know it’s 12:30 and there is no way I’m waking up for yoga at 5:45. There are times when I say I’m going to put the laptop away and get some sleep and then end up watching some random movie I see on Netflix with “that one guy from that one show.”

We may not think we have the time or that we are too tired to do XYZ and then end up doing something that in no way moves us closer to our goals.

I love television and I love reading, but I know it’s rare that doing either of those things will bring me closer to my goals. Next time you fix your mouth to say, “ I don’t have time to____.” Think back to the day before and count how many hours you spent watching tv, reading for pleasure, scrolling through Instagram or just not working.

If you want it you can have it; you just have to do it.

If you want it you can have it; you just have to do it. Click To Tweet

You Let Yourself Get Overwhelmed

I mentioned in a recent post, 9 Mistakes Bloggers Make Managing Their Time, a lot of times the reason people fail to get started is that they go into overload and freak out at the amount of work required to get their goal done. I’ll be honest, very few goals require one step of work.

For example, your goal may be you want to launch a course. I’m sure you realize that your to-do list isn’t going to be, create the awesome course and watch as the sales roll in. (Trust me I’m in a crazy badass course about all the steps required to launch a course). People make a goal, and it’s exciting and awesome, then they start looking at the steps and get overwhelmed because in my experience not all steps are linear, so it may not be clear which should go first. Remember that little by little becomes a lot. Start by doing one thing at a time and then as you go you will notice things being checked off your to-do list and you will be closer to your goal.  

You’re Afraid Of Asking For Help

When you have a big goal or dream, it is a part of you, and it can be scary to let anyone else hold a part of it. Whether it’s asking for help, feedback or even a partnership it can be terrifying to imagine someone else having a say in it. You want to know that every detail is done the way you’d want it and that it is being treated with the same love and attention you would treat it with. Remember that sometimes asking for help or trusting others with certain aspects of your project is the best thing for it. It’s important to identify what your strengths are so you won’t waste time on things that could be better handled by someone else. If you are really bad at editing video, then don’t waste 4 hours trying to edit video if that isn’t a skill you plan to nourish. When it comes to things you need done but aren’t good at I recommend either asking someone if they’d like to swap services or if you have the budget, hire someone to do it. I tried like crazy to take photos of myself using my camera’s timer, and they all looked horrible. Finally, I asked a photographer friend who is always looking for more chances to take photos, and now I have some beautiful photos.

You Don’t Order Your Priorities Correctly

I am guilty of this. As I’ve mentioned I like television, there are few things as relaxing as getting wrapped up in someone else’s story, even if its fictions. On almost any given night I have one or two television shows I want to watch. I realized I would say, “Okay, I’ll watch Switched at Birth and then I’ll work on that blog post.” The better way to tackle this would be, “I’m going to finish this blog post and then when I’m done I can watch the new episode of Switched at Birth.” I get it we do things to relax, reset and give our minds a break but you still can be strategic with your leisure. Sometimes I get home after 7, I’ve worked all day and then hit up the gym and I need a minute before opening my laptop but deciding to watch 3 hours of television before you finally sit down to work is self-sabotaging.

I know that most nights before bed I like to either watch television or read, so when I decide to watch the new episodes of my shows, work, then unwind with a little Netflix, I end up working less and still staying up later. Try the, “If this, then that” method. (I know a bunch of you use Zapier so you should be familiar with it.) “If I finish writing this week’s newsletter then I’ll watch the new episode of The New Girl.” If you aren’t looking at social media you don’t have to worry about spoilers before you get to it.

You Secretly Don’t Believe In Yourself

I’m not a therapist, but I would bet money that even the most narcissistic and self-loving people are subconsciously their own worst enemy. It’s totally normal to have those feelings of self-doubt, but the trick is to identify them and find the root of them. Anytime I have a doubt or fear in my business I have two choices: get in bed, cry and don’t get anything done or try to decide what exactly it is that I am having doubts about. I do this by asking myself a few questions:

Why do I actually feel this way?

Do I doubt my knowledge, my ability to share it or am I just worried about the response of others?

Am I practicing what I honestly believe is best and right?

Do these fears have to do with something in my past?

Do they really have anything to do with this project?

Am I just holding myself back?

What’s the worst that could happen?

By simply asking myself these questions I can typically realize why I feel the negative feelings I do. To be honest, even in nonbusiness situations, these questions can normally help me calm my shit down a little bit.

Fear is a bit of a self-preservation emotion; it’s our body and mind’s way of saying, “Wait you could lose something here.” Normally we are afraid of losing something when there is something to gain. You might be finally self-publishing that book you’ve been working on for years and you keep holding yourself back because subconsciously you’re worried that once it’s out there, it might not do well and if it doesn’t then there goes the dream of being a successful writer.  Guess what, if you never publish that book you are guaranteed to fail at that dream of being a successful writer.

 

You aren’t going to wake up one day and automatically have endless motivation and be immune to the distractions of the world, but the first step is realizing that you have more control than you think.

What is the biggest way you distract yourself from accomplishing your goals? What do you do to combat it? Tell me in the comments.

How To Survive Your Hometown Holiday

In this episode of Creatives Crushing Anxiety, I share tips for keeping your anxiety at bay during your family visits. It is the most wonderful time of the year but it’s also the time where depression, anxiety and stress are at a all time high. Here are a few tips to survive going to your hometown during the holidays.

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I love living alone. I’ve had that privilege for nearly 7 years. I also love San Antonio, which I’ve been a resident of for over 11 years. One major thing I love about where I live now is how different it is from my hometown. I love my family but I am from a very small town and being there for more than two days after living in the “big city” for 8 years can feel a little like torture.

But maybe that isn’t your problem when you go home for the holidays. Maybe your older siblings still treat you like you’re 6. Perhaps you have different religious views as an adult than your parents do. Maybe you have nothing in common with your cousins. Maybe you really just like your own space and even if it’s family that many people makes you feel a little anxious.

Whatever you dread about going home for the holidays here are a few tips to make the trip more enjoyable.

Make Plans to Meet An Old Friend

You can have too much of a good thing, and that includes family time. While your mom may give you, “Christmas is about family,” speech as you head out the door for happy hour with your childhood friends it really benefits the family to take a break from non-stop togetherness. 

Every Christmas Eve once my parents go to bed I go and have a few drinks with my friends from high school. It’s the perfect excuse to get out of the house and feel some of the independence I’ve grown to love.

Act Like An Adult

One thing a lot of young adults hate about going back home is that their family seems to be stuck in the past when it comes to how old they are. Short of actually sitting them at the kid’s table they pretty much spend the entire holiday treating them the same way they have all their lives.

Instead of throwing a tantrum to get them to stop, handle it like an adult.

If your boss treated you like you weren’t a good worker would you pout or would you work hard to show what you’re capable of?

Hopefully the latter.

Tell your family about your life as an adult. Talk about your goals and plans for obtaining them. Try to provide insightful responses to the conversation instead of sitting in the corner watching them as you did as a child.

Finally, accept that these people have known you since before you discovered your fingers. No matter how much you impress them in certain aspects they will still see you as a kid. Try not to take it too personally. Most of your family probably remember where you were born and it’s hard to wrap their mind around you being a full grown adult when they only get to see you a few times a year.

Offer To Help

Hosting is stressful. Offer your hostess a break (whoever the hostesses may be: dad, mom, sister, uncle, aunt, grandparent, whoever). If it’s setting the table, getting guest refills or chopping celery, any little thing will be appreciated. 

If the host doesn’t feel like they are doing everything they will be a lot less stressed and there will be a lot less tension and frustration in the air.

Plus being helpful will keep you busy, make you feel useful and show how grown up you’ve become.

Bring a Flask

I’m not saying I can’t handle being around my family sober but a glass of wine doesn’t hurt. In my case my parents don’t drink so we don’t have alcohol during holidays (something I didn’t realize was missing from the festivities until spending Thanksgiving with friends and their families the past few years) Part of the great thing about being an adult is you’re allowed to drink! So if your family does drink tell Cousin Pam to pass the adult cider!

Bring Part of Your Current Routine With You

Photo From Pixabay

Photo From Pixabay

Do you run every morning?

Do you end every night listening to a guided meditation?

Can you not fall asleep until you’ve unwinded with a little F.R.I.E.N.D.S on Netflix?

 Don’t think because you aren’t at home you can’t still have some normalcy in your schedule. Instead of pouting because your gym doesn’t have a local branch where you’re spending the holiday, see if one of your relatives wants to take a walk with you or if your sister wants to bust out one of your mom’s old jazzercise DVDs.

Don’t abandon the things that keep you happy just because you’re not in your regular environment.

Set Boundaries

The holidays are meant for loved ones and good times. Do what you can to unplug and stop working. Of course, I know during certain times like after Thanksgiving you or a client may be launching something big like a sale or special. Do what you can to get as much done ahead of time. It’s vital for you to set boundaries beforehand. If you absolutely have to do work over the holiday set the expectation when you will be online and when you won’t. If possible find a place to be alone when you’re working so you can work more efficiently. It’s hard to proof an email when your cousin’s two-year-old is throwing a tantrum two-feet away.

Make The Most Of It

For better or worse these loud and crazy humans are your family and they love you. Enjoy the time you have with them before you don’t have them anymore. Life is short and loved ones should be appreciated. 

And one last thing….

Catch up on Allthethingsido.com posts!

Had to throw that one in there. 🙂

Do it for love and Happy Whatever Doesn’t Offend You,

Dia

Standing Out As An Online Business Owner With Rosemary Richings

This week I talk with Rosemary from RosemaryRichings.com. Rosemary is a content writer, copy editor and content strategist. We discuss how she got into business, how she handles negative feedback and her tips for keeping yourself and your clients happy.

Excuse the slack notification.

Listen here:

In this episode:

  • How she went from a hobby blogger to a business.
  • How she overcame the fear of rejection in pitching herself.
  • Why she believes research, not templates is key to making connections.
  • We share the impersonal email greetings we get.
  • How her mom’s brick and mortar business made her better at online business.
  • How she came to terms with negative feedback.
  • Why it’s important to communicate with your clients.
  • How asking your clients for inspiration and references can help keep them impressed with your work.
  • How she views trolls.
  • Why you need to look for ways to be clearer.
  • How she keeps track of her client load.
  • How she keeps her momentum going.
  • How she mixes up her environment.
  • The quote from her great-grandmother that sticks with her.
  • Why you need to take care of yourself and listen to your body.

Click to tweets:

If you don’t have much experience. Ask yourself how have other similar skills helped other people. - @rosiemay_r Click To Tweet You can’t do the work alone no matter how entrepreneurial and awesome you are. -@rosiemay_r Click To Tweet 'Unless you’re being annoying you’re not being annoying.' Dia and Rosemary talk about pitching yourself in this episode of Creatives Crushing Anxiety. Click To Tweet There are so many options online. You could throw a ball and hit a VA. But if you want to stand out but if you want to stand out as one you need to have a personality. Click To Tweet Remind people there is a person behind the computer screen. - @rosiemay_r Click To Tweet Trolls are a sign you’re doing something right. - @rosiemay_r Click To Tweet

You can find Rosemary here:

Copy WriterRosemary is a copywriter, editor, and content strategist for the web, based in her hometown of Toronto, Canada. However, she is also known for her love of travel, and will sometimes work far away from home.

She works with a combination of E-Commerce and retail business owners, eager to use their products to improve the lives of their community. Her work has been featured on sites such as Buffer and Search Engine Journal, and she has worked with clients such as Yellowpages Canada and E-Bay.

On an ongoing basis, she also produces content for her blog, Rosie Writing Space, and her podcast, People Behind the Business; both platforms are a source of guidance for independent business owners that need help with “putting themselves out there” without a large budget to work with.

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Did you enjoy this episode?

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Now tell me:

How do you handle client boundaries?

Do you use templates when pitching yourself?

What is the most incorrect name you’ve been called in an email? (I’ve gotten Emily.)

How do you mix it up working at home? Do you go to coffee shops or coworking places?