Do you practice the art of quiet?

45 tabs open between Chrome and Safari browsers because you’ve sworn to yourself that you’ll go back to those important articles since you don’t have time to read any of them yet. (Yes those tabs still stay there because you’re scared that you’re going to miss something in those web articles that maybe, just maybe, may help you out in your life and business. Crazy isn’t it?)

What about your email? Do you flag or double click the emails so that the ones that you’re interested in pop up in separate windows from the main window? Before you know it your desktop is filled with open windows that cover it completely. You can’t see the desktop image anymore so, you simply create another freshclear desktop that will more than likely get junked up again unless a change is made in your thinking and the way you work.

Or, if you have a Mac like I do, do you create multiple desktops and just slide to a blank desktop to start another project because you have so many projects open in the other desktops that you don’t want to close them since you need to switch back and forth between them?

Are you eating your first meal of the day at 1 p.m. because you’ve been so busy and forgot to eat? And, when you do “take your break,” you’re woofing your lunch down on-the-go while simultaneously preparing for that meeting right after lunch.

Do you find yourself focusing on multiple projects for two of your clients and then decide to check your email, only to find that another client has an emergency that needs to be resolved “right away?” Your focus is now split.

And what about sitting at the computer screen hours upon hours at a time trying to research, answer emails, and deal with your social media accounts? After all, you should be tweeting at least four to five times a day so that you can stay at top of mind with your ideal customer prospects. Not.

Do you have an obsessive compulsion when checking email and social media constantly and find it hard to pull away or separate from it? Furthermore, the ding sound of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram going off at multiple times notifying you of a new post, like, live video, etc. makes it even more challenging to avoid checking them.

Whoa, hold on. That’s a lot going on.

Tis’ the life of an entrepreneur.

He or she usually has to multitask several things all at once.

Just think about it. A lot of times we’re not aware of the craziness of our days because we’re so caught up in them that it’s almost as if we’re blinded to the insanity. The average human being’s attention span is short, and I know that the span is getting worse because we’re in an overstimulated world. If you find yourself consistently doing even some of the things listed above and more on a daily basis, then there’s a bigger problem at hand. Once in a while doing these things are necessary, but if it has become a dirty little habit, it can affect your brain’s ability to focus and concentrate.

There’s a common saying, “Live Your Brand Out Loud.” How can you do this if you’re doing so many things that require your time, energy and focus all being divided and sliced up so much like a peach cobbler pie into multiple, tiny pieces until there’s no recognition or form that it is actually a pie?

You’ve put so much effort in trying to keep your business afloat that you more than likely don’t have time to deeply think things through unless… Unless you learn to practice quiet and get clear on the things that will propel you forward in your business and its brand.

What if I told you that it’s possible for entrepreneurs (and yes, I’m talking to you solopreneurs as well) to focus on one specific thing at a time? Well, it is.
I think that we’ve been brainwashed into thinking that the more you do, the more important you become, the higher the chances that your business will take off, and the greater your chances are to becoming more influential. Getting quiet and creating focused strategic steps that lead you to where you want to go is what will make your business take off, not your time, energy and focus being sliced up like the peach cobbler pie that I described earlier.

But how do you do this?
With so much noise around you vying for your attention, you’ll need to retrain your focus and relearn the art of being quiet. Think of how much powerful and focused your business and brand would be if you took the time to get quiet and gain clarity and focus only on things that you need to focus on.

woman writing with distractions around her

Rock Living Your Brand Out Loud By Using These 5 Ways To Practice Quiet First

What I always tell my clients to do before we begin our work together is practice quiet and rid themselves of distractions so that they can think clearly because the work that is required of them (regarding their businesses) requires digging deep. Distractions are there to keep you from accomplishing what you need to really accomplish.

Here are some hacks to help you avoid being thrown or dragged into the abyss of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) in social media, texting, and email.

1. Take a deep breath and breathe. Then prioritize, but prioritize the right things.

Make a list of things that you need to complete. Then prioritize (use whatever system of your choosing) what needs to be done hierarchically. I use letters and numbers such as A1 (which is the main priority), A2, A3, etc. Your brain can focus on one thing at a time so only focus on that one thing. Once you finish that one thing, then move to the next item. Don’t multitask because you’re splitting your focus when you do. Sometimes it’s inevitable to do multiple thins at once but don’t make it a daily habit. Multitasking, or what we like to call switching from one project to another, actually affects your productivity. According to an article on Inc.com, Multitasking Is Killing Your Brain, MIT neuroscientist Earl Miller, states that the human brain is not supposed to multitask. People are just diverting between tasks (switching or jumping from doing one activity to another) which negatively affects the cognitive function of the brain. The habitual practice of multitasking makes it harder for the brain to focus and can even affect your IQ. When you multitask, you’re really not accomplishing what you think you’re accomplishing. And if you are, it’s at a cost.

2. Get quiet.
Spend moments of silence periodically throughout the day (at least 15 minutes a day). This really helps to get you centered from all the crazy noise that we encounter as we interact with life.

3. Make it harder for you to check your phone.
Turn off notifications on your phone or power it off completely until after you’ve finished your one task at hand. If you’re writing, for instance, a blog post, don’t turn the television on or listen to music that has words. Music that has words and television causes your brain to use its cognitive function on both things at once. Instrumental music or sounds from apps like White Noise and Relax Melodies Premium are great while you’re writing.

If you find yourself not able to turn your phone off or pull yourself away from other distractions such as web surfing and social media, make it really inconvenient to check your phone. Leave your phone in another room or even your car (hidden of course). If you have an office in your home upstairs, you can leave your phone downstairs or vice versa.

4. Use apps and your web browser.
There are so many tools that you can use to help you in your efforts but I’m only going to focus on just a few. Digital Detox Challenge (For Android) and ShutApp–Digital Detox (IOS) are examples of apps for your phone that can help you.

You can also use tools in your web browser to help you such as StayFocused (a Chrome browser extension) and Simple Blocker.

5. Get your email in check and organized.
Sometimes we subscribe to way too many e-newsletters and so our inboxes get overcrowded. A great way to solve this is through online software such as unroll.me. This software allows you to see a list of e-newsletters that you’re subscribed to and allows you to unsubscribe, in bulk, the ones that you do not want as opposed to going through your inbox and unsubscribing each e-newsletter individually.

Well, that’s a wrap up for the hacks. Last but not least, I want to ask you a few questions.
The list in the introduction of this blog post can drain you from the most important tasks that you need to do to get you to the ultimate vision that you have for your business and brand.

  • Are you seeing results in your marketing? Or do you even have time to do any marketing at all?
  • Are your marketing efforts focused and speaking to your ideal customer?
  • Are you getting the customers that you want and are able to nurture and maintain them?Are you sliced up in so many directions that your brand and business are no longer recognizable because your focus and attention are divided in multiple directions?
  • Do you have a clear ultimate vision for your business and brand?

If you answered no to the first three questions above or yes to the question asked directly above, won’t you consider spending a half- or full-day with me in my Boldly Branded™ VIP Day consultation program? We’ll clarify your ultimate vision and make sure that you’re on track to accomplish what needs to be done specifically for your business and brand—not a template or a copy from another. Your business is different, unlike any other, so let’s customize and develop the best framework for it so that you can reach the ultimate vision that you have for your business and brand. Click the button below to receive information about the Boldly Branded™ VIP Day offering or to schedule an appointment.

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Marcia McCray

Author Marcia McCray

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