I’m a bit jealous of the people that can stay reasonably focused all day when they are working on something. My focus is often all over the place, jumping from one project to another, dealing with clients and issues that arise. For the most part, that’s just the day to day tribulations of being the boss.
I can handle the split focus alright but for me the worst distraction is when new projects come in or when new ideas come to me. I love new ideas. They are shiny, exciting, and fun! I can’t wait to get started on new projects or ideas when they come in. Those old projects or jobs become boring in comparison to the shiny new jobs. I’ll often get obsessed about something new and everything else gets pushed to the side. Really this is the worst way to work and I’m doing my best to not get distracted by the shiny new stuff.
To really succeed and get things done, you have to stick to something, plug away at it and finish it before moving on. Good ideas take time. Great ideas take even more time.
Coming up with new ideas isn’t something I’m lacking but what I’m trying to do is ask myself “is this the best use of my time,” “could I finish something else rather than starting something new?” Typically the answer will always be yes, so an even better question is “Can I afford that time investment and will it impact what else I’m working on.” This allows me to jump on this new idea if everything else is in a good place and something else won’t suffer.
I’ll still get distracted often, that’s not going to stop but reigning it in is key. Also, I’m slowly learning how not to be pulled away towards that shiny new project until after my old projects are completed or I have the time to start something new and shiny.