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Note To Self - Get Out Of The Way!
Let me share my recent experience with this arghhhhhhhh to ahhhhhh moment with you. Recently, after some reading and video research, I set out to learn a new tool for blogging. I already had used Blogger, but wasn't completely happy with it and all my research indicated that WordPress was the preferred software - and easy as pie to use.
Unfortunately, my reality did not in any way match my expectation. In fact, my frustration was increasing with more exposure. What I faced was not what those 'it's easy' videos were claiming. I worked myself into such a frenzy that I broke out in a sweat just thinking about it and I found myself procrastinating.
Once I removed myself from the emotion, my natural stubbornness kicked in. I refused to let it get the better of me. It was time to get serious. I cleaned my desk of everything except my WordPress notes and sat down to focus. This time, I opened WordPress and worked with it side by side with yet another video tutorial on YouTube. Lo and behold - a glimmer of light, ooooooh....
The result is that I have a new blog site. I worked on it for several hours after the initial breakthrough and although it's not yet a final, polished version we are moving patiently in the right direction. My expectations have been modified.
The videos I had watched showed a basic 'get a blog out there' tutorial. I expected to jump from the easy template version to a customized vision with very little effort or time investment. When I couldn't accomplish what I expected to, I became frustrated and less able to approach the task with an open mind. I had made assumptions based on what I wanted to happen, and then based my work schedule for this project accordingly, always 'fitting it in' around my other projects. I was setting myself up for failure.
Something new is happening in all areas of social media and online marketing every day. The learning curve is steep and it is easy to get overwhelmed. Sometimes it seems there is just too much to learn and do to stay ahead of the curve. This is the Danger Zone, where we can lose sight of that which we preach to our clients - the need to focus, focus, focus.
Multi-tasking has gotten a little out of hand and we want/need to do everything at once. This is unrealistic and self-limiting- we're becoming ADHD professionals. We are running in ten different directions and getting nowhere.
When you find yourself in an 'arghhhhhh' situation, stop, take stock, and remember the following:
Focus on the task at hand. Set aside an uninterrupted block of time.
Set the phone aside and don't answer calls unless relevant to the task at hand or an emergency.
Put other tasks out of sight so you are not tempted to get side-tracked.
Recognize if you are the type of person to underestimate the amount of time necessary to learn a new task. If so, adjust your expectations on time commitment.
If you need to take a break, do something that will not pull you into something that takes you in a new direction. Take a walk, have a cup of tea, call your mom but don't check your email, Facebook, twitter, etc.
If you hit a wall, share your frustration with a colleague who is willing to listen. Often in the telling, you'll come upon a new angle.
And finally, if you've become too emotionally tense to be productive, put it aside for a day or two and come back to it with a fresh perspective.
What methods have you found to help you stay focused?
Wishing you productivity and patience,