Having a hard time staying focused?

What to remember when the distractions won’t stop

Have you ever had one of those days where your mind is on anything but what you need to do? The slightest little thing throws you out of focus. The internet gets a bad rap for distracting us, as do social media and buzzing phones. But they’re easily fixed - disconnect from the Wi-Fi and lock your phone out of sight. I'm talking about the days when your mind wanders, your eyes roam around the room and out of the window, and the intricate construction of a pencil sharpener becomes fascinating.

Too many distractions make you want to cry?

How do you counter those distractions? What do you do on those days when banging your head against the wall feels like it would be infinitely more productive?

You might worry that…

  • Your day will be wasted

  • Your work terrible and beyond repair

  • And your reputation as a marketer or business owner down the pan

Phew! Those birds nesting in the tree outside have got a lot to answer for. 

But we're optimists, so let's assume the best. You've teased your brain into concentrating (simply by doing the work to the best of your ability at that given moment) and the resulting output is actually pretty alright.

  • You've written an interesting headline

  • Crafted an engaging opening

  • Penned a persuasive argument

  • Authored an irresistible call to action

  • And you've signed, sealed, delivered that puppy direct to Target Prospect Numero Uno

Congrats!

One tiny little snag...

Target Prospect Numero Uno? They're a person too and they're not having a great day either. So that pertinent, informative, beguiling piece of copy you've just written might not connect with them on a particular day.

If you’re distracted, you’re not the only one

If distractions are a part of your day, you can bet that they're a part of your prospect's day too. So those words you're fretting over? The recipient may be too distracted to read them anyway. The moral of the story is, don't sweat it. Everyone has an off day and not every single reader, on every single occasion, will pay your words the attention they deserve.

What happens when your words DO cut through the noise?

Be aware, the more pertinent your copy is to your prospect, the higher the likelihood that it won't connect with them straight away.

Yes, you did read that correctly.

Like a dental appointment that's overdue, when that letter arrives inviting you to book a check-up, it prompts a feeling of dread in the chest. Suddenly that catch-up with Awful Aunt Mildred becomes terribly appealing. Anything so as not to think about what we really need to.

The same goes for copy that really hits the mark with your prospect: cue the distractions. Like our medical correspondence, we know that what we're reading is important and will more than likely benefit us in the long run. But it requires such a lot from us in the here and now: approach the strict receptionist to barter an appointment, deal with the straight-talking medic and endure the variety of... instruments.

While the work arena may be home to fewer implements, it often consists of its own difficulties - a challenging colleague, an obstreperous board member, a budget that's not easily negotiated. Not to mention resistance to new ideas, doubt, or lack of trust about the ability to resolve a specific problem.

Or, perhaps a more human explanation is that your reader hasn't quite figured out how to deal with what they recognise of themselves in your words. Paradoxically, the more pertinent your copy, the stronger the pull of distractions to your reader. What we resist, they say, persists.

And so must you! Remember, you are human. If you didn't have days when you were unmotivated, distracted and lacking focus, you'd be a machine. Keep in mind that your reader is human too. Not every one of your brilliant words, your punchy calls to action or your striking insights will hit home. And that's fine. The best antidote to an off day is to come back again tomorrow, and the next day, and to keep on talking to your reader like they're human - and like you are too.

If you can write like that week after week and month after month, despite the peaks and troughs, you won't go far wrong.

You can’t cure distraction. You might as well embrace it.

The good news? The paradox works both ways. On those days where you simply can't snap out of the distractions, when all you can muster is a few lines of drivel (to your own critical eye, that is), you might unexpectedly strike gold as your prospect comes bounding towards you.

Fingers crossed for bounding. Good luck out there!

Your words matter,

Laura


The Weekly Writing Reflection

Welcome!

Each week I share an inspirational quote and a writing prompt. The idea is for you to spend a moment doing some active reflection through writing.

Here’s your quote for this week:

I need distractions. Good ones, not bad ones. A good distraction for me is a great play.

- Danny Aiello

And your writing prompt, if you’d like one:  

  • When my mind wanders, I…

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Wordy Workshop

If you’re here, I’m guessing it’s because you have a love of words, creativity or business. High-five – I do too!

So I’d love to invite you to a workshop I’m running that combines all three of those things. But first, let me ask you a question:

When you set up your business, what did you do? Perhaps you…

  • Created a website

  • Came up with a business name

  • Wrote your strategy

  • Secured your social media profiles

  • Had a logo and a visual brand developed…

…all the basics, yes?

But what about your brand tagline? Your verbal brand is just as important as your visual brand. And your tagline is the wordy face of your brand to the rest of the world. Your Just do it, or Because you’re worth it. Yep, even for B2B or professional services, a tagline is a valuable brand asset.

If you don’t have a tagline, or if you have one that’s not doing it anymore, don’t worry. Come along to the workshop and create your own. And if you think you’re not ‘wordy’, don’t panic, I’ve made it so that anyone can do it.

  • The workshop is in two parts. Part 1 is on Tuesday 3rd February at 11am. The follow-up session, where you can benefit from the support and encouragement of likeminded people, is on Wednesday 10th February at 2pm.

  • Tickets are £45 and if you’re on this list, you can receive a 15% discount with the code LAURA15.

  • Details and booking are here.

If you have any questions at all, please give me a shout. I’ll hope to see you there!

Thank you so much for reading. Until next time…


P.S. If you can’t make the workshop but you know someone who might be interested, feel free to share it with them. Thank you!

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