A recent coaching call got me thinking more deeply about how “chaotic” our minds can get as entrepreneurs. In this blog, I’ll share with you the “Pinball Effect” and how to avoid it so you can be more productive.
Do you ever feel like the ball in a pinball machine?
We’re trying to focus on developing a program, but then we need to write that blog post, and oops we need to say something on social media… then,”oooh…. look who just launched a new program! It’s gorgeous. Gosh, I’m not doing enough… Maybe that idea I had wasn’t right… Maybe I need to do this new thing. Ok, I’m going to start mapping that new idea out. Oooh this is fun! Wait… I haven’t checked my email in a while. Shoot, I’m behind in getting my newsletter out. Dang! The day is already half over…what happened?! There goes another day…UGH. I’m frustrated! I’m not doing enough… Is this career path even right for me?? It feels like I’m not getting the results I should…” Ping! Pang! Ping!
This is NOT productive behavior – and you know it.
Entrepreneurs are creative, innovative, excited and usually not good at the key to success: follow-through.
So now what?
When you feel the “pinball effect” happening, the key is to STOP. Stop everything you are doing immediately. Clear your desk, shut down your 20 browser windows and start fresh.
Take a deep breath and ask yourself, “What should I be doing right now?” The answer will be clear. You know what you need to do.
Start with the easier task that can be fast to complete. This will get you re-focused, build momentum and get you thinking in a singular channel again.
I like to make a fresh to-do list and prioritize my tasks by what I absolutely have to do today, then what I’d “like” to accomplish, then the stuff at the bottom are those bigger ideas that have no official timeline (but I write it down so I remember to come back to it when time allows).
More often than not, the stress and pressure you feel is something YOU are creating by your own self-imposed deadlines. When you feel the speed increasing in your day-to-day, try to slow it back down a little and remember, there is time.
I’d much rather you do something thoughtfully and a little slower, than slapped together and pushed out more quickly (complete with your stress levels higher than they should be).
This is an invitation to be more mindful of these feelings and patterns. Let’s be intentional about creating a business and structure that makes us feel empowered, grounded, clear and productive. ANYTHING is possible then. 🙂