Over the weekend we had my parents over for dinner and I made Naan bread. Which I’ve made before many times. This time I was a bit impatient, I wasn’t paying enough attention. So I slapped some dough into the hot oil in the pan and the oil splashed out and burnt me up my arm and up to just under the leg on my glasses. (Thank goodness I was wearing glasses) How stupid. I am now covered in sticking plasters, a bit self conscious and I feel like a right twit for not being more focused.

Sometimes we lose focus on what’s important don’t we? We stop paying attention and it’s in those times that we can get burnt. Not just in our personal lives, but in our businesses as well. If you lose focus and forget to give someone your terms and conditions to sign – that could have bad consequences. If you don’t pay attention to where you’re going and end up in the wrong meeting place that can be a bit embarrassing. If you’re too rushed, too busy thinking about something other than what you’re doing or too disorganised then it’s easy to mess up. That does not help you out in your business or reflect well on your reputation.

Of course, we are all human and we all make mistakes, but if you’re working with hot oil – something that needs to be given 100% of your attention – then it’s essential to keep you’re eye on the ball.

There are a lot of things that require focus when you’re running a business. I’m sure I don’t need to give you a list of all the things that you are responsible for – from doing what people pay you to do, to doing what you need to do outside of that.

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There are lots of things that you can do to help you gain focus and keep on top of everything you need to do.

  • You can use lists to help you keep organised. I love Trello, which is like a super-list! You can create more than one list and move items from one place to another, you can share your lists, you can get reminders for tasks, you can add notes and attachments – and it has an app for your phone too, so you can keep updated on the move. It’s great – it’s free – go and try it out! You can make more traditional lists with sticky fix it notes, scraps of paper and note pads.

  • You can have really organised filing systems.

  • You can have a brand style guide so that every time you need to create something for your business – an image for Facebook, a banner, a sign, a leaflet – you can ensure that you are being consistent and therefore effectively communicating with your audience.

  • Another thing I love to use is Evernote, which I use for ideas and collating information that’s useful. I can access this on my phone too. You can add reminders, you can edit notes, you can tag notes – and this also starts with a free service. There’s no excuse not to be organised when it’s this easy!!

  • For invoicing – and accounts  – there’s so many different ways to help you keep on top of things that the only problem really is which programme to use! I use BlueSky, but have also heard great things about Quickfile, Sage and other accounting software too. If you’ve got it all sorted inside one programme then you can see what you’ve invoiced, who has paid, who hasn’t and how much you’ve made and are owed at a glance. Great to help you keep focussed.

  • You can create plans and systems to help you keep focussed on what you’re doing in your business. I have a plan for getting clients, a marketing plan, a plan for following through and following up, a plan for feedback, a plan for pretty much everything and a system for my branding process. What could you do?

  • I also use social media scheduling – there’s loads of options for this, I like using Facebooks own post scheduling and Buffer. There’s also Tweetdeck and Hootsuite and a whole load of others – right now I’m trying out Scredible. With so many different options available, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t be able to keep on top of your social media platforms.

  • Back in December, I created a Goal Setting Pack which you can use to set monthly and weekly goals and use the goal reminder sheet to remind you what they are! I also created a Business Snapshot sheet which you can pin up to remind you of what your business is all about and help you stay focussed.

I’d love to hear from you what you use in your business to help you to keep focussed so that you don’t get burnt. 

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