Ooh – shiny! Avoiding the distraction of new

Photo Credit: Andrew Morrell Photography on flickr. Used under CC BY-ND 2.0 license.

Oh, like I’m really one to talk about this subject. I have yet to actually learn how to avoid the “ooh – shiny” syndrome. New projects, topics, issues all spark that engine that runs my hamster wheel. And we’re off and running, leaving whatever I was working on behind.

Now, I get things done. I make things happen. I go from A to B.

But more often than not, a new … something, anything … comes along and the ideas start tripping out and

There’s nothing wrong with being an idea hamster. At all. And if that could be all I was, that would be lovely. But while I can get clients who pay me to be that for them, I still have to be more than that for myself. My business needs projects to make it past the new stage, past the idea phase, past the “what if” process.

I’m sitting here with a book half done and starting off on a rabbit trail of planning a podcast series. Umm, what about the book?

Here’s my ideas:
1) Don’t start what you won’t finish. Notice the choice of the word won’t. Not can’t. Not shouldn’t. Not might not. Won’t. Which means taking a lot of time up front to consider the idea, whether it meets the goals, fits the focus, all that jazz. It’s taking time to realize just how long the marathon is so you pace yourself accordingly. Or that you know you can run a marathon and not just sprints.

2) Break big projects down into smaller pieces so there’s always something “new” to work on. And think of them as new. Yikes. This will be hard for me because I’m always running down the road trying to make the early pieces fit with the end goal.

3) Just do it. Argh. My husband loves to say this. And sometimes I just hate it. But there are times when that’s all that can be done to get a project moving. You can try the “30 minutes when you can only work on that one” approach; I’ve had variable success with that. It is harder than you think for some of us to do just one thing for an entire 30 minutes. Habit of flipping over to see what’s happening on Google+ or check email or research a tangent you just thought of is just so ingrained.

4) Focus. This ties back to one a bit. When you have focus, know the goal, know your route, it’s so much easier to only take on tasks that matter and thus you’re motivated to complete. This is possibly where I’m failing with us. You just assume that of course you’ll need a YouTube account and so forth. I can so see a use for things like that. But will we actually use it? Does video fit with the plan? Will the people we need to reach find us there? Need to find us there? (Know thy customer!!!!)

I need to ponder this a bit more. No, I don’t. I’ve been sitting on this post for a while, so I’ve already had my bit more, right? Damn. (And sucking. I spent 15 minutes finding the “perfect” picture for this post.) So time to define some focus and actually follow that plan. Anyone else struggling? We can poke each other a bit on this one.

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