This year why not stop letting your email account and Facebook dictate how you spend your day. Have you ever noticed how an email has the ability to completely disrupt your day and kick you off track? Do you continually refer to your email account during the day like it is a ‘to do list’? Do you drop tasks and check your emails as soon as you hear an email notification?

If you’re self employed it can be easy to get distracted when there is no boss leaning over you keeping you on track, or no employees to report to. Distractions such as email or Facebook can become welcome interruptions helping you avoid difficult questions or just providing some much needed human contact (after all we don’t have the water cooler to congregate around).

One thing all successful people have in common is their ability to complete tasks and stay on track. They don’t just do this by getting up each morning and doing only what they feel like. Instead they have 90 day and yearly plans detailing what needs to be achieved and by when. Then they just getting on with it.

Being self employed, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and question whether how we are choosing to spend our time will produce results.  By writing plans that set out what we’ll do when, we’ll have something to guide us through our day/ week that keeps us focused on outcomes. These won’t be half thought through outcomes, short term strategies or responding to external factors (such as email), but well through through outcomes attached to tasks that will create real value.

It is common for many of us to start the new year with goals, and it is common that just 30 days into the year we throw them out again and just continue as we did before. 90% of the reason for this is that we haven’t turned the goal into a strategy, and without a strategy we are easily distracted. With no point of reference it can feel almost impossible to get back on track again.

Knowing what you are going to do with your time is imperative for success. This year why not begin with writing in-depth strategy documents for how you are going to achieve your goal. The more in-depth the better as this will mean that you’ve considered all eventualities – but better yet, when your mind goes blank, you’re distracted by events in life or you just ‘don’t feel like it’, you’ll have something to push you along and ensure you’re still on track and produce results.