It's a big fat myth that you can multi-task your way through running a business and have it still grow.
What actually happens is that you're "busy" all fucking day, then 3pm rolls around and there's actually not much of tangible achievement.
Multi-tasking is for putting some washing in the machine while the oven is heating up and putting the breakfast cereal back in the cupboards whilst figuring out what the fuck is going to be served for dinner!
... And that's all absolutely fine for "running an after-school kitchen" - but it's NOT the way to actually GROW a successful online business!
FOCUS BRINGS CLARITY.
... and WHAT YOU FOCUS ON GETS DONE!
I start my day with the activities which mean the most to ME for MY growth (writing a blog). This is a non-negotiable first-point-of-focus.
I get my coffee and I open the laptop. I'm not trying to do 100 other things. I'm not trying to get the kids ready for school or watch the news or do anything else I "could" be doing.
If the kids are up early (hello unrelentless motherhood!) then I wait until they've left for school and then I write the blog.
If it's school holidays, I still need to write.
Being autistic, I find it really hard to concentrate when there's too much stimulus and distraction - to help me focus, I slap on a pair of excrutiatingly expensive noise-cancelling headphones and I don't pump any music or distractions through - it's just me and my thoughts and my typing.
Seriously. The whole world can wait 20 minutes until I've finished this and published it!
To actually work your way through your list of GOTTA DO THIS SHIT EVERY DAY - you need to focus and just get on with it. Once it's completed - and it really shouldn't take that long, because your daily "must-do" activities are likely those which are marketing/admin related - should not take more than 90 minutes or so - and if they are, something is going very wrong and you're PROCRASTINATING and not giving your business the focus it requires.
By focusing on one task at a time, one project at a time without the distractions of every day life - you can make serious shifts in terms of what you're developing and creating - and also increased clarity.
Clarity tends to come from a time of being fully-enveloped within the scope of your project - and then the time after when your sub-conscious is untangling all those spaghetti threads.
When you're jumping from task to task and busying yourself with busy (STOP FUCKING CHECKING FACEBOOK!) - then you never actually dive fully in to your project and frankly you're doing yourself a disservice because you never actually fully embrace what you're TRYING to do.
When you're not focusing, you're just tinkering around the edges - and sure, you might produce "something" - but I'd wager it's far, far, FAR from your best work and far, far, FAR from what you COULD do if you actually stopped fannying around and actually just focused on what you need to do.
To allow yourself to actually focus properly - you need to properly plan in your time and what you're going to do (at least roughly).
You can't just wake up on a Monday morning and say "Imma focus on this today" - so you do need to roll it back a bit and plan out exactly WHAT you're going to be focusing on.
Now I don't believe you need to plan out a year in advance - that way madness lies and you'll fail. Yep, fail. 12 month plans suck.
But at least if you know where you're going on a weekly, fortnightly, monthly or 90 day sprint style then you'll have an idea of what you're jumping in to.
Focus works like muscle memory and the more you do it, the better you get. The more you focus, the more clarity you get.
The more clarity you get, the better your planning will be, the better your next round of focus will be... bringing you MORE CLARITY!
It really is one of those things that the more you do it, the better you get at it and the more of a pay-off you get yourself.
So. Turn off the noise - or, if it's not possible to turn it off completely - at least tune it out like I do with the headphones.
I remember being on a call once with a client who lived in the centre of Boston and I could hear sirens all the time we were on the call. Obviously completely normal for her, but for me it was incredibly distracting and I really don't believe you can truly focus if you've got so much stimulus going on around you.
If you've got small kids around - I get that - I've been there. Nonetheless, you can put the headphones on for even just 10 minutes and crack on. Because those 10 minutes of "filling the bucket a drip at a time" is going to bring you 10 minutes closer.
Increased CLARITY is going to improve what you're doing with the direction of your business. The strategy will become clearer, everything will become more streamlined and smooth, you'll understand where you're heading and the best and most efficient way to get there.
You'll learn to recognise what's best for YOUR business, growth and direction - because without the clarity, you're just throwing spaghetti at the wall and flitting from shiny object to new shiny object and never actually coming up with a FOCUSED STRATEGY you can implement and build upon.
Remember: FOCUS leads to CLARITY leads to IMPROVED STRATEGY leads to MO' CASH - and who could argue with that?