What’s your favourite distraction?


I know it, I’ve been there…..I’ve had my whole day planned out, I’m going to be super productive, that to do list is going to be nailed today. Then I see the pile of laundry that won’t make it’s own way into the washing machine – it’ll only take 2 minutes to sort that out, best get it in so I can hang it out when it’s finished. If I can get the washing done today as well….BONUS! Plus I can use the washing machine time as a chunk of time before I have a break.

I need a cup of tea before I sit down though, whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, I’ll check my emails on my phone, perhaps clear a few. Oh shit, I forgot my car insurance was due, I’ll do that first….I’m prioritising, I’m proud of myself! A few phone calls later my washing machine beeps and I have renewed my insurance, next job…hang the washing out. That said it’s such a nice day I’ll put the bedding in too. Setting aside another chuck of time whilst the washing machine is on again.

That’s it, I’m in work mode, laptop is open and I’m feeling good. Oooh, something is flashing on my laptop – notifications, OMG I can’t believe my Bessie has posted that picture, look at all the comments…. Best reply to a few so they know I’ve seen it. Oh blinking heck my battery is running low on the laptop, best go and find the charger…where did I put it?

It’s now lunchtime and what have I achieved? Next to blinking nothing, can you see where I’m going with this?

Can you identify your biggest distraction? Are you aware of what is sabotaging your work? It might not be household chores or Facebook, it might even be the guilt of not spending time with family, it could be that you procrastinate too much or how about fannying around with tasks that aren’t going to make a difference to your business at all for fear of what others will think if you do the other actions on your to do list.

Once you’ve identified your biggest distraction, it’s easier to find a solution and work out ways in which you can be more productive and focussed.


I find it easier to break my work into 60 minute chunks of time. We can do anything for 60 minutes, any distractions (bar crying babies and proper disasters!) can wait until you 60 minutes is over! Set an alarm to remind you when to stop and crack on!

Is 60 minutes too long? Try the Pomodoro technique, which breaks time into 25 minutes.


I want you to write down everything you feel you need to achieve.

Highlight the points that are important and need actioning ASAP, take these onto a new list and dismiss the others.

Now with your priority tasks sort them into large and small tasks, often the small tasks can be easily achieved whilst sat watching the telly, waiting for children to complete their after school activities. NOW tackle the larger ones in your 60 minute chunks of time!

The challenge I set you is to discover how you are self sabotaging by becoming distracted!


If working from home is too much of a distraction, you should consider visiting one of our new co-working spaces which are popping up in cities all over the UK. Two in Nottingham that I would recommend to you are Minor Oak and THiNK, both offer free co-working days in which you can take your laptop along and be inspired by the creativity and motivation of others working around. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t have to be lonely

Hashtagging brilliance!

OK, so what is wrong with a tweet like this:

@ClairCFAR Happy #Monday. I’d love to #promote by #beauty #business in #Nottingham

#salon #massage #nails #facial #eastmidlands?

Firstly, it’s quite difficult to read, no? All those hashtags are getting in the blinking way, infact they are making me blink to adjust my eyes to what the message is trying to say. Secondly, there’s no need for all of those hashtags!

So what is a hashtag? Years ago (i may be showing my age) the hashtag symbol was used before a number to denote the word ‘number’. Telephone number would be written as Telephone #. It was a short cut I guess and I believe that’s why there is still so much confusion surrounding the small # symbol.

Nowadays, this simple stamp is a way of communicating effectively through social media. However, as with many things in life, each social media platform has it’s own set of ‘rules’ for how effective the hashtag will be against their ever changing algorithms. The first things to consider is that the hashtag is a way of communicating a topic of interest to your audience. You must consider what your audience might be searching for so that you can show up in their results.

If you are in the beauty industry, you may want to refine your hashtags to be more specific to what you offer for example – it could be eyelash tinting, intimate waxing, rather than the rather large subject of beauty. Similarly, for those in the fitness industry you should consider drilling further down into the industry and the classes / services you offer and both of these examples should include a location hashtag unless you can go worldwide with your business.

In the example tweet above, there were far too many hashtags used. But unless you are ‘in the know’ you aren’t going to know that! But now you know, so no excuses! To make your tweets more legible for your audience on Twitter, good form would be to include 2 -3 relevant hashtags, no more than 4!

Now to confuse people, especially if you link all of your Social Media accounts together, Facebook doesn’t really do hashtags. Well, it does but no-one uses FB to search for things using hashtags. Where as on Instagram you can use a shit ton of hashtags, up to 30!

This is where you need to be careful, if you have your Twitter or Instagram hooked up to your Facebook to post automatically (and  this is a whole other blogs post!), and you are using these posts for business, you might end up looking a bit like a numpty who doesn’t know what they are doing. if you are comfortable going in and editing after they’ve posted to take out the not need hashtags then great. But if you aren’t up to speed on all of that, then please unlink your accounts for now!

Back to Instagram, you can use up to 30 hashtags but rather than putting them all in your initial post or comment, post them all in the second or 3rd comment. Again it’s much more pleasing on the eye for the reader and the Insta algorithms seem to favour this approach too. Check out what I mean on my Insta account.

Is the above clear?

Twitter – preferably 2 or 3 hashtags, no more than 4

Facebook – none

Instagram – up to 30

Struggling with which hashtags to use?  There’s a great site called Hashtagify.me which will let you pop in one hashtag and show you a plethora of linked hashtags that you can use for your business. How cool is that!

If this was helpful for you at all, please share it with those who you see struggling!

If you would like any more tips on maximising Twitter for your business, BOOK IN NOW FOR YOUR MAXIMISING TWITTER FOR BUSINESS SESSION


Where do we go from here?


January, that time of the year where your brain is all fired up and you have the desire to nail everything you missed the boat on last year yet your focus is only working part time as it tries to re-instill the festive freedom it experience just a week ago!

I hear ya! But if you don’t get back on that entrepreneurial treadmill now then you will only make life that little bit harder for  yourself next week. Focus is a tricky little bogger, give it an inch and it will take a yard. Like a habit, you have to work on training yourself to focus on activities each day. I’m not here to give you a complete solution to the January ‘slump’, but there is a lot to be said about creating blocks of time each day to complete small tasks.

Have you read Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy? The emphasis of the book is that you get your hardest, most challenging or time consuming task out of the way first. this way you feel like you have achieved something and all of your other small tasks will take less time. It’s true, it does make you feel great but sometimes you’re not in the mood to tackle that one big one!

And what if your focus won’t let you concentrate long enough to complete that task? Maybe your sense of achievement will come from setting yourself the goal of ticking off 3 smaller actions from your to do list. Or reward yourself everytime you work for 60 mins without getting distracted. What works for me won’t necessarily work for you. There are apps out there that can help you regain your clarity. If distraction from your phone is an issue then i recommend Forest: Stay Focussed, designed to help you beat the addiction to your phone. If your Facebook newsfeed is an issue whilst you are working within Facebook on a laptop, you can install a plugin which allows you access to groups and pages whilst making your newsfeed appear blank. Search for Kill My Newsfeed!

I wish you luck as you activate all of your cylinders again this month. It’s definitely taken me a week to get back into the flow.

Look out for a new blog soon in which I’ll list the apps my business couldn’t live without.

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