How The Pandemic Forced Me To Focus

Image for post
Image for post

My Problem — Multiplicity

If you only knew me from a short conversation, follow me on Medium or Linkedin, read my writings, see the software I’ve written, or heard me speak in front of an audience, you’d think that I am an extremely focused person. I am not a focused person.

I wish I was a focused personality, but that is not who I am. I tend to want to start new things all the time and I seem to enjoy multiple businesses, switching between jobs, etc., etc.

But do I really like multitasking? No, not really. I have an issue. I admit it and that is I just can’t focus and it makes life hard!

I am not saying that I have a full-blown disorder like ADD or ADHD. Disorders or diagnoses do not matter.

All that matters is how you feel about yourself and the reality of your organizational skills and personal situation.

I personally can make a list of things and work my way through it daily, unlike a lot of people I know.

It is a tough thing for many of us to accept who we are or admit to our frailties, especially if we have not gone through training or a diagnosis. We think certain things may be true about ourselves. But when your spouse or friend or analyst from the outside points out you are doing too many things, juggling too many balls, you probably better listen up.

In my case, the reality is I seem to not be able to finish everything I start. It really started when I was younger. And I was able to somehow get by, focusing here and there at times.

While my focus issues have gotten better as I get older, it is a daily battle, getting myself to sit down at a computer and do something like this activity, writing!

I have 15 Suduko books laying around, about 10 books I am in the middle of reading. I have at least 5 tech startups or small companies I am at least associated with. And each one must think I have my act together. But I don’t.

I heard it all the time from my wife, get focused! Well, it was never a simple thing for me. I always had that extra thing going on. She always told me to stop everything to focus on the most important thing! Hard for her to say that. She’s not me!

For a while, I ran startup pitch events, which unto themselves bring in new ideas. This was like the drug addict running the pharmacy. New ideas are great, but making one phenomenal is really all you have to do.

So, I know my issues, but I rarely dealt with it.

It Solved Itself

Wham, we suddenly were forced to be in this pandemic. As the first days of the pandemic passed in the spring, I was forced through a funnel (the way I see it) into where I am sitting right now.

My office mates decided to never come to the office again. I went to the office till the end of August and then we shut it down.

Now weekdays during the day I sit next to my sons who are in a virtual school, with my wife alongside them.

The one company I am a partner in that was providing some income or was doing well crashed and burned. That’s because it is in the dating event business. The other business, which was running startup pitch events crashed. Our startup pitch events were dead on March 1st, 2020. I could have tried to revive the startup events online or put more time into the dating event company, but ultimately I ended up with just one main business, SEO Turbo Booster.

Faced with nothing else I could waste my time on (that’s how I look at things), I was forced to slowly but surely have to focus. It because necessity and singularity suddenly happened. I used to have lunch with a different person every day before the pandemic, or a call every other hour, and a lot of this started to slowly go away in the summer of 2020. People stopped calling. I stopped calling them. While this going inward was negative for everybody I used to interact with, it probably was a godsend for me.

The ability to focus on one thing made me stop all the other merry-go-rounds so I could get this one venture going properly. So in fact the pandemic helped me with my focus issue and took my startup to a place I may not have been able to go in normal years. With a little luck over the summer, we acquired a very consistent digital agency partner who started to do the sales for us, and things seem to be growing month over month this fall at a reasonable rate.

What I Learned

I learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot about people. Let’s face it, most of us lie to ourselves. We are not honest with ourselves. We can’t focus because we don’t want to.

I learned that you can promise yourself that you will focus this week, next week, next year. You can try a new calendar system, try to change who you are, but if you are ADD, ADHD like me, you are going to fail at every system of organization.

I learned to do what I am best at. In the SEO Turbo Booster business, I tell people the truth. I am only really good at 2 things, kissing babies and low-level tech sleuthing/coding. Everything else, from closing deals, managing projects to sending invoices needs to be done by somebody better at it than me.

The one caveat to all this is when I had a full-time job working for large corporations, I never had any of these issues. Just because you have a real job does not mean you know how to focus, at least in running a business. In fact, I think all the years of corporate training, trained me to be less focused because, at a large corporation, you don’t have to worry about much of anything, like running a small company.

That is what I learned, to focus on what I am good at and let others do their jobs!

What Can You Do About Your Wandering Soul?

Let’s talk about what you can do to help you focus. Trust me, I am not the best one to give advice on this subject, but I will try.

  • Work On The Physical Issues
    It becomes pretty obvious if there is sound, smells, lighting, or physical activity around us, that we have a harder time focusing. You can just lie to yourself and sit in a loud crowded Starbucks because you like it. I sometimes enjoy it. But what we like is not what is best for us. At least wear noise-canceling headphones! But be honest with yourself about this. The pandemic proved to me being locked up by myself is the best way to focus. Now, I don’t have all the answers, because right now I am sitting with my kids in school and my wife working in a big loft, but I am aware of the issues and acknowledge it is a problem.
  • Supplements And Potions Really Work
    I originally switched from caf to decaf and suddenly my ability to focus improved 15 years ago. Know what you are putting into your mouth can impact your day. I still am addicted to dark chocolate. Guess what it has a little caffeine, which once again hurts my focus. There are a ton of possible candidates for taking supplements and my go-to supplement has been “Focus Factor”. You can get an adult or children’s chewable. I find the children’s brand helps me focus. I recommend it highly, but don’t schedule any meetings that day. In my case, I will go off on an ADD tangent if I take a pill. I don’t know CBD well and I don’t recommend it. But maybe it works for you!
  • Social Suckers
    One of the biggest issues I have faced is the feeling of being sucked into social networks like Facebook and Linkedin. We have all been home, at least some of us, so we could end up spending all your time on these social networks. This is still a problem for me, but I moving it down a notch.
  • Block Out Lone Time
    While we are alone during the pandemic, the cellphone, texting, WhatsApp, Facebook, Zoom and Google Meet are always around us. You can’t escape. Therefore, to focus, you have to either A. Turn It Off or B. Schedule your time. I have a calendly.com connected to my Google calendar. If you really want time with me, schedule it there… Here is a link to schedule time with me: https://calendly.com/seoturbobooster/seo-turbo-booster-intro-demo

Are You A Digital Agency?

If you are an owner of a digital agency and you are trying to improve the SEO of your customers, then I have a proposition for you. We have developed a plugin for WordPress and all other systems which allows you to rapidly generate 300–1000 distinct geo/keyword landing pages for SEO purposes. If you are in the business, we basically automate this process. We have made it fast, easy, and cost-effective. We are looking for a couple more digital agencies to come on as partners and increase your revenue with less work. Contact me at dan@seoturbobooster.com for more info. Or just go to my Calendly and schedule 30 minutes with me. But just remember you have once again taken me away from my 1 singular focus, SEO Turbo Booster unless that is what you want to chat about! https://calendly.com/seoturbobooster/seo-turbo-booster-intro-demo. Have a great day!

Written by

Founder SEO Turbo Booster, http://seoturbobooster.com, Writer, Speaker, Consultant. Email me at dan@seoturbobooster.com to contact me.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store