micro moves to focus fast get productive improve success

7 Micro-Moves To Focus Fast w/ 3 Free Bonuses

Do you get off track easily?

From time to time, you may find that distraction is winning  a lot of battles in your fight to stay motivated and push towards your success. Whether it is building your personal brand, building a business, or achieving any other goal, there is a key to staying focused and persistent.

From time to time, you may find that distraction is winning  a lot of battles in your fight to stay motivated and push towards your success. Whether it is building your personal brand, building a business, or achieving any other goal, there is a key to staying focused and persistent.

Luckily, there are simple, and free, ways to quickly  get back on the priority task at hand instead of logging another hour mindlessly scrolling Facebook to do…”research” . While these moves can be done alone, they also work together in a sequence. Use them as a quick routine when you realize that your are avoiding your valuable tasks for an unproductive ones.

MicroMove  #1 Take a deep breath

If you are losing focus on a task you know you have to finish, then there is probably something about that task that causes you stress. This stress triggers your “fight/flight” response which turns you to your coping mechanism: distraction.  This subtle behavior is rewarded with the removal of the stress, which is a positive outcome and so you are not easily persuaded away from your flappy bird marathon because it feels better than writing a 10-page marketing piece or presentation for your big pitch night. Whatever it may be, struggling through the cumbersome and complicated process that is reaching long-term success comes with no guarantees. Meanwhile, your favorite reality show comes with a very real and very now satisfaction.

That is why taking a deep, and I mean, deep breath is a micro behavior to first take when you truly want to disrupt the pleasure vortex. According to a Harvard Family Health report, deep breathing triggers us to relax, which releases the stress sensations that were eliciting the fight/flight response in the first place. So, if you wanted only one more move to help you get focused fast then you can stop here. If not, keep going…

MicroMove # 2  Check the Time

Sometimes a project is really stressful…

Honestly, you just know it is going to take forever and you have an entire to-do list to get through, plus the day is just etching away…

These are thoughts that definitely run through my mind if I feel as though I am distracted through the day. How are we supposed to fit so many priorities into such an infinite amount of waking day?

Often, when this happens, I find I really don’t know the exact time. How much day do you really have ahead of you?

By checking the time you afford yourself an opportunity to make a rough sketch of how all of what you want to do can play out, and if you are short you are forced to prioritize to the essentials.  This helps focus you in relationship to your present situation.

Once you know how much day you have ahead of you, pick a priority for every 1-2  hours left.

MicroMove # 3 Set a Timer

So you are feeling less stressed and prioritized, but stiiiillllll…..getting started on that project isn’t any more motivating. No matter how calm you are or how important you rationalize it to be, the energy to get you going just isn’t sparked. So what to do next?

Set a 10 or 20-minute timer to complete the first priority. Set the timer before you are even sure what you want to do next. This creates an external incentive to commit a small amount of time to devote from the time you have left.

By incrementing time even further, you’ve placed bite-sized boundaries on this once insurmountable project.

MicroMove #4  Check Your Goal or Write a Goal

Next if you don’t already have one, set a goal or check a goal. For example, I have a command center that I created a while ago, which lists my major priorities. Helping grow a non-profit, developing my business, and contributing to the higher education profession are the top three. From there I would pick one for the next hour or two and I would work on one goal.

For someone writing it may be to write a chapter, edit a chapter, research 10 sources. Whatever it may be, make sure your goal contributes to advancing your priority.

MicroMove #5 Make sure your goal is SMART

One of the things that trips me up, is sometimes the goals I write are not easily processed by my mind. I teach this in many goal setting workshops. Our minds are very much like programs processing lines of code and interpreting it into action.

If I set a goal that is something like : “Create packet”

When I return to complete the goal, I can be completely oblivious to exactly what the parameters of packet creation will be. Furthermore, if it is an older goal , I may complete lose why and what I wanted when I wrote “Create packet”.

So it helps to make goals as specific as possible, and the SMART acronym is a tool used to refine your goals into a way that we can process easily.

“Create packet” becomes “Make a rough draft of a 3-page marketing packet for our latest workshop offering on MeetUp within the next 17-minutes (your timer is still going).

MicroMove #6 Say an affirmation

Affirmations are a simple way to promote positive thinking around your priority project.

Great affirmations for focus:

  • I have all the time I need.
  • My work is a priority and I work my priorities.
  • Staying focused is easy.

Here are some more great affirmations for focus. Just pick one though and move on to your final move.

MicroMove #7 Do it

Jump in there! You have reduced stress, prioritized, specified, and affirmed! There’s nothing left to it but to do it no matter how unpretty it may be. Get in there and get it done. The clock is ticking.

Bonus moves

  1. Always be aware of your triggers – Brainstorm a list of triggers and build your  awareness by noting when you are engaging in a trigger. Playing Call of Duty when you know there are chores to complete or diving into an hour-long debate to avoid finishing that first draft. Gently note this times and realize you can take the micro moves above to get back on track.
  2. Write if-then statements and keep it nearby – If then statements are great tools to use with your awareness of distraction triggers. For instance at an old job my boss had us all say the motto “If there is time to lean there is time to clean” – plug in your trigger with your priorities and use it as a verbal reminder to refocus using some of the moves above.
  3. Have a reward system handy – When you do get back on track and finish your work in the time you devoted know of 1 or 2 rewards you can give yourself a positive experience and reinforce the satisfaction of being focused.

The smallest steps lead us toward success. When you recognize that the small moves that you take contribute toward your overall achievements your destiny becomes much richer and simpler. You can relish in every note you write and every goal you set which will keep you motivated in the long run. Appreciate your micro moves and use them to keep them keep you focused today.

For more moves toward your success visit zingahart.com or email me at zingahart@gmail.com to discuss a personalized strategy for you.

One More Move: Sustain Your Momentum

Agendas, fundraisers, programs, networking and this is just the volunteer work?!?! As a passionate creator that presides over a startup non-profit, #LimitlessAmbition, 2 businesses, a higher ed profession, and a beautiful growing-so-fast family surfing the wave that is seeking success could easily crash, but when we do what we love…love finds a way. As entrepreneurs,  we often find ourselves swimming deep in a variety of projects, responsibilities, deadlines, and commitments that could easily have us feeling burned out, overwhelmed or just swamped. Our ambition won’t let us give up and the people we serve rely on us to be leaders, mentors, and overall figures of what our purpose stands for. So how can we ensure we sustain ourselves while completing complex projects and timelines?
Here a three key factors to take into account:
  1. Honesty is a winning policy: Before you embark on any ambitious journey, you need to honestly assess the progress you and your team can capably commit to weekly. If you are already in your journey and are starting to feel buried, share that with your team as well. Voicing frustrations, delays, and setbacks with everyone allows for many minds (including your own) to create a solution. Journal, set up a meeting or group chat to discuss a strategy for success that works for everyone!
  2. Create and celebrate easy wins in your project, early and often: *Secret Alert* I have a little happy dance EVERY TIME I release a post by the end of Monday. I started it in an effort to share what I learned helps individuals craft their own success, so they can contribute to and grow a thriving community! Although it takes some time to complete, it is still a small step towards ensuring that someone will be inspired to boldly take any small step towards building their own success journey.

celebrate victory zinga hart

  1. Harness the power of your tribe! Being held accountable to our goals boosts our sense of commitment. There is something special about someone else knowing about what you want to do and then checking in on you to make sure you completed it! Schedule lunch dates, send a FB msg or text, connect in a Group chat, etc. etc. Find an accountability partner/group and share your goals and progress with them. Need someone to hold you accountable?
What goals are you sustaining in March? Share them in the comments below.
strive to build trust with social media at zingahart.com for ohio women leader group

Strive to Build Trust With Social Media

I joined the Kent Young Professionals leadership council’s marketing committee recently. Of course, having the chance to lend my expertise to building something from start-up phase is an experience I hold dear. What do you jump at the chance to experience?

Knowing what I’ve acquired after many years of promoting, managing, and strategizing for social media growth, I would strongly advise, anyone travelling into the social media marketing journey to put building trust at the center of the strategy.

Social media is like the force, while powerful, when it is used for good it is good, but when it is used for devious purposes it can cast a shadowy, ugly spirit-crushing light for anyone who dared to trust an appealing link or headline. Customers are aware of the stalker-like practices of ads and the false promises of online shopping and services. The quantity available to them is like a tidal wave, and many of us are cutting off our engagement to keep from drowning. On the business end, our potential audience reach is too as rich as the ocean with cohorts of diverse people, personalities, and personas that we can try to attract. Like two waves, a general strategy will only cause a crash of chaos.

So how do you build an online relationship, especially when you are starting from the bottom?

Start with trust.

 

build trust quotes zingahart - if people like you they will listen to you but if they trust you they will do business with you

Like any relationship, we open ourselves up to be vulnerable by relying on someone or something else to provide the value we need. On both the client and business end, we need to be able to identify the value, while validating reliability. Social media benefits when you focus on providing those two metrics.

As a move to incorporate into your trust into your social media success strategy, reflect on these questions:

  • How is building trust a part of your social media strategy?
  • What ways are you ensuring people can learn to rely on you (or your business)?
  • What guarantee can you commit to providing?

Have you ever been burned or betrayed by an online promise? What could they have done to make the exchange go right? (Comment below 🙂 

 

5 Small Steps to Create and Use A Personal Strategic Plan

Anyone who knows me, knows I love planning. While, I do a lot of business and marketing planning for others, my true passion for planning stemmed from personal development planning. It all sparked from a meeting with Sheila Palmer, Assistant to Donna Karen of DKNY, she shared with me a book called the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens after a brief conversation on the beach of Coney Island. When I read that book, the life of discipline, value, and achievement opened up to me for the first time.

From that year (2004) and on, I began a tradition of sitting down every year and creating a personal strategy for the next. This personal strategy helped me get three degrees, start 2 businesses, and accomplish many other complicated goals over my lifetime. Now as I grow into an adult millennial, this tool is helping me manage the many balls in my life with my chill and confident attitude towards getting things done.

First a few notes

  • A personal strategy is your strategy. Only you can define the desires that swell within you.
  • Your strategy will get better with each pass. You have to stick with it.
  • Your strategy can, will, and should change. Although, your values, goals, and beliefs will be closer to a constant, how you reach these ends will need to be adjusted as the year unfolds.
  • Your higher-order mission, vision, and values should remain constant, but be refined over time.

No strategy should be set in stone; it should only serve you for as long as it helps you reach your goals.

So, here are 5 small ways to create and use a personal strategy for 2016 today

  1. Start with your wildest vision for your life then scale it back to achieve for the year. Be a firm believer that whatever goal you set can be accomplished, then do yourself a favor and give yourself a generous timeline to get there. No city is built in a day, but it is built eventually. 2_zkbkpa
  2. Write 3-5 goals to achieve over the year. Try to build off the work you’ve done last year. If you are starting from scratch, make one goal something you can achieve right away to boost your efficacy in achieving annual goals.
  3. Schedule a time to review your goals for at least 5 minutes a day. I know an hour once a week may seem like more, but the odds of missing one week, then the next, then the next, are too high of a risk for your best you in 2016. Instead, find some way to incorporate your visions and goals in a high-frequency place throughout your day. Build it into your passwords, set up a vision board, or make it a part of your alarm clock. There are tons of ways to make your goals presence known.
  4. Pick one goal per day. Yes, you are a leader and have so much more to offer the world, but if you are having trouble genuinely sticking with the goals most important to you then you have to stick with tactics that work. Focusing on one goal per day will not overwhelm your schedule. 5778ca76b341bfa7e1fcaaca85770d4c
  5. Share what you are doing with an accountability partner. Find someone in your life that you admire for achieving their goals. Meet with them and share your goals and work towards meeting with them regularly. Do a SWOT assessment, share tips and tricks, and other successes with them. Sharing your goals makes you more accountable to yourself and others, which will build your persistence.

Simple steps, but a great start to mapping out your best 2016. Let’s get rid of resolutions and map out the business plan for your careers!

What’s wildest dream are you working on? 

person starting at the cosmos wondering how the will manage their time and achieve complex project objectives

OMM: 5 Ways to Squeeze in Good Work

@ZingaHart

Life is complex. Work, school, family, career (which is separate from work), brand, relationships, and, oh yeah, our passions. As complex humans we tend to want to achieve complex goals (e.g. goals made up of many tasks). For instance, I have a friend Tia who works in education, serves on a nonprofit in her free time, is starting a business, and still manages to rise as a brand leader on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This along with the other dimensions of being a superb daughter, reliable sister, active community leader, and woman growing into her own creates a week that ebbs and flows, and sometimes feels like an intense juggling act. Finding balance as she leads as a nonprofit board member (her first time around btw) means is fitting in one more complex role into her life. How could she possibly squeeze in everything and still maintain her brand of composed and in control?

It’s taken me years to refine a time management system that ensures I am meeting the goals that matter while living the life I want. Although, I am still adapting and trying new systems, there are a few key principles that matter consistently.

1. Commit to something

A nonprofit that strives to grow a powerfully empowering networking of women means that you have face a lot of goals to chew through before the vision is fully realized. Meetings, deadlines, worksheets, and email correspondences can quickly come before you and it can feel comforting to ignore it and hide. Yet, part of you made the decision to be a part of the mission in the first place, which means there is a reason behind you decision. Within that reason is your motivation.

Write down the why behind your commitment. This is the something that you can turn to when you are forgetting the motives you had.

2. Set goals

Writing down or otherwise documenting your goals gives your brain something simple and concrete to solve. Your mind is a powerfully calculating tool and you are the command master. Set small SMART commands and your brain will do the work for you.

goal achievement

3. Put it in Your Face

How do you make sure the things you really want to get done actually get done? You have to constantly remind yourself until you have it finished. To keep your tasks at the top of your mind, find a place you look at often and place those goals there. For me its my homepage, a small notebook I keep in my purse, and a calendar on my desk.

4. Measure It

Review your history and cross off what you successfully completed. You’d be amazed. Once I stumbled on a five-year goals list I made for myself in high school and I had completed about 80% of the tasks even though I left it at my dad’s house when I moved away to college. When you celebrate your small successes you rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit to continue doing more.

goal achievement

5. Talk about it regularly

It can take a while, but even the most stubborn of individualist must admit humans cannot exist alone on an island for long. We need others to grow us, to support us, and to hold us accountable. Set goals and share them with others and then return and share your achievements and failures. Communicating is the first step to bringing the ideas inside our heads into reality.

How do you manage to squeeze your passion into your daily activities? Let’s chat.