Focus is a rich commodity in the land of distraction many of us live in. And, it can take some practice, even for those who find it easy to focus, to start focusing on what is actually most important.
I don’t know about you, but I can not force myself to focus. Either I’m present and “all there” or I’m not. So, I put a premium on setting up space that helps me to get into my zone and create things every day.
Today I’ll share a few ways I’ve been keeping my energy more on track in a wild season of creativity!
Set a timer to create smaller chapters of the day.
Breaking up the day into segments is incredibly helpful to keep my intention from getting diffused into different directions.
By keeping a timer at my desk I know that every hour, at minimum, I need to take a break. Not only is a break welcome because it’s been an hour of sitting, during that break I can get my mind re-focused on my intention for the day.
Kitchen timers are great for this, but you can also use a phone. When the clock is ticking, I’m less apt to get thrown into a tangent because I know I have other things to do later and it’s time to get stuff done!
What I do when I take a break is the bigger part of this— whether it’s a short nap, a meditation, a journal time, a chat with friends, a walk or a workout— as I avoid any screen-time 100% in these breaks. Ideally, I even avoid reading. This is one of the top ways I stay inspired, and I am a big believer in success all day long in these short segments rather than attempting to create a longer span of work that leaves me feeling drained.
Sweep your workspace clear of everything unwanted…. daily.
Every single day there are a few habits that help me keep the space and energy around my important tasks humming.
I clean my desk every evening so I wake to a fresh desk.
I keep a mug full of tea and a glass of water beside me to stay “refreshed” and balanced.
I also do some energy clearing every day, even if it’s something as small as opening my windows in my office.
Whatever helps you to start each day fresh and maintain that fresh-minded feeling is going to be the magic for you.
Slice your to-do list in half.
A full plate of things to-do can be the easiest way to do much less. When you’ve done tons of work and you’ve barely scratched the surface of your list, there’s way too much there. This is both demoralizing and confusing, because it can be tempting to get scattered all over the place. List out your top three priorities and leave the rest on a running list of things you can do if you have time afterward.
Planners are truly potent. If you’re inclined to write things down instead of working digitally, a great planner (*do some research to find your favorite; I love Passion Planner) can be a creative tool to set your priorities and timelines on paper.
Batch up tasks into bundles so you aren’t “all over the place” and feel and see big results.
If you’re posting on social media all day long, schedule all your posts at once so you aren’t logging on and off of platforms.
If you’re dragging out the mop and bucket for the kitchen floors, also do the bathrooms.
If you’re prepping for a meal tomorrow, also prep for more meals ahead of time for several days so you’re not “always cooking” when it’s inconvenient.
This is real focus-magic in my life.
Think of all the tasks that you’re trying hard to juggle constantly. Are there ways to batch them up so you can consolidate your efforts– and your focus?!
Music is magic.
I am a huge fan of silence for large stretches of the day, but when I’m working on bigger projects, or I have a “full plate,” by the afternoon I’m ready for some disco music. Or classic rock. Or just about anything that i like that has a rhythm. That rhythm helps me to slip into my focus and flow with the energy to see tasks to the finish line.
Of course, I don’t recommend becoming so fanatical about focus that you feel like it’s another “job” to do.
Ideally, this type of focus is more intuitive, more natural and not strained.
It’s a creative momentum that builds.
And, it feels fantastic!
Enjoy it all!
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