You instinctively know that you need to focus. Meanwhile, follow-the-rabbit syndrome continues to present new and exciting distractions. The cartoon snake with the eyes has been sent to hypnotise you. You're tricked into believing that it's possible to focus on more than one thing. That it's okay to back more than one horse.
So there you have it. Rabbits, snakes and horses all in the first paragraph. I'm already confused. Confusion is part of the problem. Everyone you speak to will be confused about what you're about, what you're trying to achieve and more importantly you'll confuse yourself.
Consider the rule of 50. Each idea has 50+ directions you could take it, 50 things that could go wrong and 50 hours of your precious time to invest to get your idea off the ground. 150 thought processes is enough for anyone and this is before you've created or sold anything. For those people working on more than one ideas simultaneously, the multiplier effect will:
a) Bake your noodle
b) Make you frustrated because of the lack of results
c) Cause you to abandon the one that would've worked (because ol' snake eyes will be having you think you gave it your all, but it didn't work, so you'd better start something new)
The real reason you want more than one project on the go is probably fear. James Corden said in his recent interview with John Bishop that he never had a plan B because that would be like admitting that plan A was destined to fail.
The answer is to rate your all of your ideas in a four box of excitement versus reality check:
1. Y-axis: How much does it excite you to do this every day?
2. X-axis: How close are you to being able to begin?
The one that comes out top goes in your to do list. Let's call this the chosen one. The others don't. For ALL of the others, there are two other lists:
List 1 is your hobby, absolutely not in work time and there's only space for one thing on this list). List 2 is for everything else and it's called the 'Someday Maybe' list. This list is absolutely not to be touched until the chosen one has succeeded (unless you can give it in its entirety to someone else and trust yourself not to meddle). Here's what's worked for me (and I am a self-confessed 'Ooh! Look! A rabbit!' entrepreneur):
Leave rabbit hunting to Elmer Fudd. Better to execute one idea with everything you have, than do a half-arsed job on a few.
We went out for a curry the other night and whilst waiting for our food – Alan received a call on his mobile – He took the call and
We were sat by the window and Mark and I were happily chatting away but in the corner of our eye we were distracted by Alan
pacing up and down....and up and down (Check out the Mark's awesome footage below)
We were laughing about him and taking the mick (as usual) but it got me thinking....does pacing up and down whilst talking on
your phone make you more productive?
It's all to do with the body language
Those of you who have attended the Pop-Up Business School will remember the exercise with Person A and Person B, when we
had 3 minutes to communicate with our partner and each minute they displayed a different character of being interested, not interested or over interested.
Which person were you? If you were person A and had to communicate whilst the other person was looking around and acting distracted, how did it make you feel?
Pop-Up Business School are currently in Weston-super-Mare and this is the 2nd time that I have undertaken this exercise and even though I remembered it from last year I still had terrible trouble communicating to my partner when he acted like he couldn't care less.
Whilst talking on the phone, we are unable to communicate with our expressions, all we can use is our voice – hence why we
walk about when using our phone, our body is sub-conscientiously aware that we aren't communicating to our full potential and this is our body's way of making up for it.
So there you have it; it won't stop us taking the mick out of Alan though!