Everyone knows that I love reading, thinking and writing about focus and how to improve it. Focus is such an important part of success in anything we do whether creating, business, friendships, conversations, everything.
Yet in my life right now, I am all over the place!
I got up this morning after planning my day last night like I always do and everything went up in the air when I opened my emails. First mistake: Don’t open your emails until you have done your Priority task for the day.
Anyways, I opened my emails and saw there was an online course that was on special today. It is one I have been wanting to take to deepen my understanding of watercolour portraits.
Well I was off on a tangent, registering for the class, making a list of supplies to see what was needed and if I had on hand, making another list of everything else I am missing in the studio and planning a trip to the Art store. Wait a minute! It is a holiday here today so the Art store will be closed. A good thing I didn’t get in the car right away.
But seriously, there is so much I want to do that I don’t know what to start with these days. I am registered for 5 online classes right now, working on a book, planning a large painting, I want to resume my daily drawing project, I am also studying the stock market and reading the historical Century trilogy by Ken Follet. I also fit in a 5k walk and a swim every day and try to meditate a bit.
All this is happening in between family, keeping up with friends, my writing group, maintenance of the houses, volunteering obligations, miscellaneous phone calls and appointments. And as we are de-confining here, more dinners and visits with friends and family coming up.
Fiou! I am squeezing the hours as though pressing a lemon. How do you focus with all this? I also feel like I am rushing from one activity to the other and it is not how I want to operate in my life.
My son told me I should slow down and just do what I want. That is the problem, I want to do it all, but I feel paralysed with indecision. I know I need to take it one day at a time. And I realise I should concentrate on only one main project per day instead of trying to do a little bit of everything.
What am I looking for exactly? I want to feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day, to be able to say, I made progress, I learned something, I brought some joy to someone’s life and I enjoyed myself.
I used to have control of my days but lately, I lost the few habits that helped me. And I see the de-confining as another looming distraction. I feel like I need to do as much as possible before we resume our busy social life. We have missed our friends so much during the last year, I can’t wait for get-togethers and hugs.
Here are the habits I used to rely on to find and maintain focus of my day and that I will resume immediately:
- Planning my day the night before– If I know what is on my plate for the day after, I go to bed calmer and the day starts smoothly. I am able to tackle whatever is planned in the right order
- Block at least 2 hours first thing is in the morning for my number One priority task of that day when I know my energy is at its highest – By the time lunchtime rolls around, I feel I have made progress and have accomplished something with my day.
- Turn off my phone and don’t check my emails until after I have handled my three priority tasks. If I leave the phone on, I don’t answer it unless it is from one of my kids or husband. It goes without saying to not go check social media until later in the day when most of what you set out to do is behind you.
- Start each task with intention about the outcome and about the time I want to spend on it- This helps in working more effectively. I love knowing that I can stop after a set time, especially if it is something I don’t particularly enjoy doing. It gives me sustained energy whenever I set my timer.
- One thing I don’t do and will add to my routine is a daily review– Taking 5-10 minutes to ask myself what I learned, if I want to improve or change something, what is open for tomorrow, what made me feel good versus what was not so good. I used to do this before leaving the office when I worked outside the home. It was a powerful ritual that helped me keep focus on what was important. It also helps to switch off mentally and you feel more relaxed when you get home if you are commuting. It also works if your commute is from the art studio or office to the kitchen LOL.
Yes I am reorganising yet again with enthusiasm. It is what life is all about, reassessing and readjusting.
Have a great week and Stay safe!
With love and new focus-
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