Ep.10 Communal – Bailey Lewis

Ep.10 Communal – Bailey Lewis

Founder of Words First Content Strategy and Words First Community 

Bailey guides digital teams to create more human, intentional content that connects with their audiences and help people do business with them online. 

She teaches next-level content strategy tactics and processes for organizations all over the globe, with the goal of improving her clients’ business and, at the same time, bettering the digital world we all spend so much time in every day.

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Refocusing on Your Work

Refocusing on Your Work

Since we’re halfway through 2022, we wanted our community to take a moment and see if they need to refocus. When life happens, we often lose focus on our work. So we sought input from our members on why they lose focus and how they address it.

We asked why members of SOCO find themselves losing focus.

Then we asked what members do to regain focus.

It’s easy to find “busy work” to feel like we’re focusing. But we wanted to understand how members get focused on valuable tasks.

Finding focus can be overwhelming if you’ve been away for an extended time (vacation or personal leave). So we asked our members for their tips.

Finally, we asked about resources our members recommend to help maintain focus at work.

Do you feel like you have something to add to this conversation? Then SOCO is probably a good fit for you. When you join, you can participate in these chats every month. Plus, all the other events, content, and community to help you get a little better each day.

How to Refocus On Your Work 

How to Refocus On Your Work 

We’re roughly halfway through the year. And if you’ve avoided breaking out in a cold sweat because time is flying by, then this is a great time to step back and refocus on your work. 

It’s easy to lose sight of goals we established way back in January. And a lot can happen in the span of those months. Maybe you took time off to care for a loved one. Or to take care of yourself.

But before you return and dive into the work, take a moment to refocus on what’s important to you so you can thrive for the remainder of the year. 

Take Stock of Everything You’ve Accomplished 

Okay, before you dive in to work on refocusing, let’s talk about what you’ve accomplished. So often, we only look at what’s in front of us on our to-do list or calendar. And that can lead to feelings of how we’re falling short.  

But to appreciate where we are, we must look at the good things we’ve done. And odds are, you’ve accomplished so much more than you realize. You just haven’t thought about it. 

Think back over the last few months and write down the things you’re most proud of, whether it’s work or personal. 

Maybe it’s a project you just knocked out of the park. 

Or you’ve met a fitness or mental health goal. Whatever is important to you, put it on the list. 

Identify When You’ve Done Your Best Work 

If you feel like you’re in a rut with your productivity or focus, think back to times when you’ve done excellent work. 

What were the conditions that helped you focus and be most productive?

Maybe you had an established schedule or were surrounded by people who encouraged and challenged you. 

Identify how you were able to focus and work on re-creating those parameters in your current work setup. 

Review Your Organization Methods 

When you’re struggling to focus, organization methods are often a culprit. And even if you have a sound system for tracking projects and client requests, those tactics can fall by the wayside when you’re distracted. 

Examine your organization process and see what needs to be tweaked or re-implemented to help stay focused on what’s in front of you. 

Establish Short-Term and Long-Term Priorities 

When searching for how to refocus, you can grab at straws and focus on the wrong things. 

Instead, you gravitate towards tasks that make you feel good, like cleaning out your inbox or spending a lot of time responding to emails. 

To avoid this trap, write out critical tasks or work you need to get done. 

Prioritize them. Put them on your calendar (or wherever you track your work) and honor that list, as your life depends on it. 

Drown out all other noise and save it for later. Those emails will still be in your inbox if you let them stay there till the end of the day. 

Some “busy work” is essential. But a large part of finding your focus is knowing what to focus on at the right time. 

We All Struggle with Focusing 

Every business owner, freelancer, and employee struggles to maintain focus. Competing life priorities, outside influences, and many other issues can take our minds off work for long periods. 

Remember to give yourself grace. Losing focus is part of being a normal human being. What’s important is you identify the cause and do what you can to find your focus and continue doing great work. 

Stop Living in the Gap

Stop Living in the Gap

I live my life in the gap.  Every day.  And I bet you do too.

I’ve always been this way.  A former boss and one of the best mentors I’ve had professionally, Neil McLean who is an EOS Implementer used to tell me this regularly.  He knew it.  He saw it.  The pursuit of creating value, building community and making a difference drives me.  Where I am right now today is not as good as where I’ll be when I accomplish the next thing (sound familiar?).  That’s the gap.  The “gap” between where you are today and where you want to be in this “ideal” future. It was coined by a guy named Dan Sullivan, who has been a growth coach for high achievers for decades and has even written a book about this called “The Gap and The Gain”

For many, living in the gap can be a tremendous motivator, pushing you to achieve more, create more value or impact more people’s lives.  But for a lot of us, it represents a moving target that we’ll never reach…leading to tremendous frustration, angst and dissatisfaction.  

Translation: Being unhappy whilst simultaneously working your ass off.  No bueno.  

The best analogy I can give is the distance runner that finishes a race and immediately signs up for the next marathon..never taking a moment (hell, take a bloody day) to pause and appreciate what they have accomplished.  

This is me and it has brought me as much pain as fulfillment in my more than a decade of being on my entrepreneurial journey.  Think about the mind fuckery behind this concept.  If you’re “living in the gap” constantly, then every time you accomplish something, your brain tells you that you haven’t reached your goal yet.  Living in the gap tells you that what you just did is not good enough.  And for me…it’s just simply exhausting…

I bet you can imagine all sorts of ways that this could screw you up. You do something meaningful for your life partner and their response is “great, but did you do the other thing I asked you?”  A kid gets his first hit (ever) in Little League, but strikes out the other three at bats and his father says “Not bad, but you could have gotten four hits.”  A founder who tracks her KPIs every month, but is comparing those metrics to where she WANTS to be and not to where the company was a year ago and feels like she’s never making progress.  

Does this resonate?  Did you just twitch a little?  Are you crying in a puddle of your own tears?  It’s cool.  Because now you know about this thing called the “Gap”.

This month in the SOCO Community, we’re celebrating the halfway point of this year and taking some stock of where we are and what’s next.  So in that spirit, I wanted to explore how we might be able to live in the gap in a more meaningful way.  Here are five things I’m trying to do to be more present and live more meaningfully in the gap.  🙂 

  1. Recognize it and Own It
    Acknowledge that you are a person that lives in the gap.  That you might never get out of the gap and that it’s okay.  Acknowledge that this might be who you are and practice some radical acceptance of that.  It’ll free you (a bit).  Now that you know about it, you’re going to see it everywhere.  Take stock of that, recognize it for what it is and give yourself some grace when your “gappy mcgapperson” rears its ugly head. 
  2. Take a Break
    One of the best ways to combat this “living in the gappedness” is to force yourself to take a break to invest in other areas of your life.  Physical wellness, mental wellness, emotional wellness or relational wellness. Because let’s face it.  If you live in the gap, you’re dragging the people in your life along with you.  And that ain’t right. 
  3. Turn Around, Dummy
    Listen.  One of the most powerful ways that I’ve combatted the gap in my personal and work life is by just pressing pause and turning my head around 180 degrees.  Take a look backwards 6, 9, 12 or more months to see how far you’ve actually come in relation to whatever it is that you measure (business KPIs, miles run, etc…).  9 times out of 10, the chances are that you’ve made progress.  And that’s worth celebrating (just a little bit 🙂 ).  As Dan Sullivan said, “When you measure backward, you increase your confidence, energy, and satisfaction”. 
  4. Get Rid of Ideals
    Ideals are visions of future success that are unattainable.  Sometimes they are ideals that you have imposed upon yourself.  Sometimes they are ideals that society, your community, your culture or your family have imposed upon you. Get rid of them!  Dan Sullivan nails it when he talks about ideals being like the horizon.  “You can see the horizon—you can drive toward it, and it will point you in the right direction. But nobody ever arrives at the horizon. Even if you were to arrive at the exact point you were envisioning on the horizon, you’d never know because it would feel just like where you were before.” 
  5. Measure Small and Often
    I’ve found one of the best ways to deal with the gap mentality in addition to the above is to measure small and measure often. What does this mean? Have metrics of success you track?  Look to make small progress on those regularly (maybe even daily).  Ever heard of 1% Every Day? Great example of living this idea. And here’s a great video on the Kaizen way.

I’ve been living in the gap my entire adult life.  I’m just now starting to come to terms with that and working towards living more meaningfully between where I am and where I want to be. Hope you will too.  

PS: Want to dive deeper? Listen to my partner Gene Crawford and I as we dive deeper into this topic on Communal, The SOCO Community Podcast here.   


  1. Best Goal Measurement – https://resources.strategiccoach.com/the-multiplier-mindset-blog/the-best-goal-measurement-strategy-for-entrepreneurs 
  2. Dan Sullivan – https://www.strategiccoach.com/ 
  3. Gap and The Gain Book – https://gapandgainbook.com/ 
  4. The Art of Manliness: Get 1% Better Every Day – https://www.artofmanliness.com/character/behavior/get-1-better-every-day-the-kaizen-way-to-self-improvement/

By Greg Hilton

Passionate about building innovative, entrepreneurial and dynamic companies and communities. I like big ideas, going against the grain, and working with incredible people. Stuff I’m a part of: Period ThreeSOCO Coworking Space, Rolling Rock Investments, 1 Million Cups Columbia SC.

Greg Hilton is an active entrepreneur and has launched and worked with over 100 early stage ventures. He’s the Cofounder and Managing Partner for SOCO, the region’s first coworking community and is Chief Opportunity Wrangler at Period Three an industry leading web design shop.

Ep.9 Communal – Living in the Gap

Ep.9 Communal – Living in the Gap

Greg and Gene talk through some of things that you may encounter in your life as a business owner or dreamer. Working hard is often something that we are praised for and for good reason but what happens when you find yourself constantly trying to reach for that ever unreachable horizon?

For many, living in the gap can be a tremendous motivator, pushing you to achieve more, create more value or impact more people’s lives.  But for a lot of us, it represents a moving target that we’ll never reach…leading to tremendous frustration, angst and dissatisfaction.

Listen where you normally get your podcasts:

SpotifyApple PodcastsAnchorGoogle PodcastsiHeartRadioStitcher

Or Listen Below: