What are you working on today? What percentage of your day will be spent on action items that are “part of the plan?” Can you trace today’s actions to a strategy in your marketing or business plan?

Interruptions, delays and changes are normal, and handling them is part of the plan. But recognizing when you’ve been diverted from your own vision is essential to moving forward with your plans, and not someone else’s. Whether you’ve been diverted by external or internal forces, it’s important to recognize when your path has been diverted.

Clues you may have been diverted:

You can’t remember or clearly see your vision — your end game. 
It happens. Life changes and we try hard to focus on our old vision, but layered on top are delays, disappointment and doubt — we can barely see though all the clutter to the vision.
We work hard to get to the vision we’ve invested so much in, instead of crafting a new, realistic dream that truly motivates us.

You don’t really know how your strategy will accomplish the plan…things have changed enough so that the connections aren’t obvious. 
What is your plan? How will you make your dream a reality? If it’s not a strong enough plan, you’ll be easily diverted by advice, criticism, and even your own doubts.

You are working for someone else’s benefit, but not your own.
Of course your job is to help someone else! So if you’re doing that you feel good about it, as you should.
But if you step back and look at the exchange — analyse the outcome vs the object — what is the true benefit to you? (‘Benefit’ defined as something that moves you closer to your dream.) If the benefit to you isn’t what it should be, you’re sacrificing valuable energies that could be spent on new opportunities.

Other hints:

The terrible economy is part of your daily chit chat: If the beating the economy isn’t already a factor in your business plan, make it one.
Technology is an obstacle. It is defeating or confusing or causing delays. Getting a handle on the tools that run your business is important. There is always a way to improve something, even something we know little about. The answer may not be in the technology, but rather in doing the work to find vendors and advisers you can trust.
The solution seems mysterious and not within your grasp. While this may be how you really feel, it doesn’t move your business ahead except by chance. Take the time to get out of your own world tolook at it objectively.
Take the time to pinpoint the problems, analyze them, and think of a solution. That’s why you are here in the first place — because you have the bright mind of an entrepreneur. That’s something you never lose. So use it!