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Starting a blog while working full time is hard work. I found three books that helped me to get rid of shiny object syndrome and focus on the steps that are most important for my business. These books provide clear focus for bloggers.
Clear Focus For Bloggers
Starting a blog when working full time is hard work. It is so easy to get sucked into all of the things you think you should be doing at the expense of the things that will move your business forward. Every five seconds it feels like there is some other new thing you have to learn, buy, or do. It is really hard to find clear focus for bloggers.
I’ve been there. I got stuck. I wrote about this in a previous post about blogging courses. It is so easy to feel like you have to know everything before moving forward, but it just isn’t true.
You can’t do all of the things. You need clear focus! You need to change your mindset into learning what the most important things are and do those things.
There are three books that absolutely changed the way I was present in my business. They have saved me time and helped me out of the shiny squirrel syndrome we all get. They helped me to get stuff done on my blog and stop wasting time!
If you are stuck and not moving forward, feeling like you are doing a ton of work but getting nowhere, I highly recommend these to you for finding clear focus:
Essentialism is an awesome book (click here to buy on Amazon) that talks about getting more done by doing less. The way this works is that you figure out what is the most important, what really matters, and do those things. We all get stuck with demands from others and overwhelming to do lists.
Essentialism is a discipline that encourages you to get clear on what your goals are and then to determine exactly what is necessary for you to do to reach those goals. You then focus all of your energy on doing those tasks, cutting out the other ones.
Topics covered include:
- Protecting your time and spending it only on essential tasks
- Setting boundaries and saying no
- Getting rid of clutter in your life
- Knowing what is most important
- Taking care of yourself, focusing on things that make you happy
One Thing (click here to buy on Amazon) is somewhat similar to Essentialism though focuses a bit more on how to tackle your important tasks in a way that gives you the most bang for your buck. The book teaches how to find the one thing that, if completed, would bring you closer to your goals. Doing this one thing often results in your other tasks becoming unnecessary.
We love checking items off to-do lists. The problem is when we write to-do lists we don’t discriminate what is most important from the less important. Instead, we treat everything as if it’s the same. We feel accomplished by just checkings off of our to-do list. Unfortunately, we usually waste time and fail to make progress because we try to do too many things at once or pick things that aren’t important. (Who wouldn’t rather fall down the social media hole than produce content?)
Instead of having a to-do list with a bunch of items, the book recommends figuring out what task, if completed would have a domino effect and make other tasks unnecessary.
Food Blogger Pro did a great podcast with one of the authors and led Bjork through some questions about tasks required in blogging specifically. They examined what the overall goal of the blog was, then what the blogger would need to be doing in six months to reach that goal. Then it was brought down to what that blogger would have to be doing in one month to get to that goal in six months, then what would the person need to accomplish in one week to get to that month goal. Finally, the question came down to what one thing could you be doing now to get to your goals. Spoiler alert, the answer was create content.
As bloggers we spend a ton of time doing a lot of other things like taking courses, spending time on Facebook, learning the technology, making images, and so much more. When broken down using the model from the book, it becomes clear that there is one thing that would make everything else come together.
Creating content makes this work better:
- More content means more chances for people to see your stuff
- More content gives you more things to promote on Facebook, making your time there more useful
- More content makes it more likely that you will have pageviews leading to ad sales
- You get the picture 🙂
The One Thing helps you to get clear on whatever it is you are trying to do and to find some clarity on your next steps. Similar to Essentialism, it is about doing only what matters.
Oh man, this one is good. If you’ve struggled at all with how to communicate your message to your customers, this one is perfect (click here to buy Building a Story Brand on Amazon). It gives you a formula for how to use story to capture the attention of your customers. You have to be clear about what you offer and not confuse your customers. The story formula helps you to attract the right customer in the right way.
One of my favorite takeaways was that in your business the customer is the hero in the story, not you. You are the guide. If you think about this in movie terms, this means the customer is the main character who is trying to solve some sort of problem. As the guide, you are the person who has done it before and can offer a plan. Building a Storybrand helps you to get super clear on the message you want to present to your audience.
This method of developing your business is brilliant. I’m rereading the book so I can put it into practice and bring clarity to my own brand. This is something I’ve struggled with as I am sure most other people with busy distractible brains have.
So if you are having a hard time at all with focus and getting things done, making progress with your goals, these books are ESSENTIAL (pun intended). Reading these has completely changed my mindset and I know they will do the same for you.
It feels so much better when you have a goal and a specific path to bring you to that goal.
Marlena is the blogger behind apenandapurpose.com, where she writes about using journaling for self improvement and reaching goals in life and business. Using her experience as a Licensed Psychologist with a Master’s in Business, she teaches people how to break through negative thoughts and fear to do what matters. For more about me read my about page.