Things happen – getting back and keeping my focus happens only when I make the choice to change
Focus directs the journey. I have to have the right focus. I want to end up in the right place. A lack of focus leaves me wandering in circles. I have to regain focus to regain the right direction.
I figured it out.
My great “White Board of World Domination” had provided a visual. It made it easier for me to display my ideas and I got caught up in them all – all at once. Getting caught up in the ideas means I invest my energy in the ideas and not necessarily in the actions. I find myself spinning tires instead of actual movement.
I figured it out because my husband caught me walking through the kitchen for the third time muttering to myself. “What was I doing?” I asked the air. I knew I had been in the kitchen for a reason and I was certain it was something important but I was unable to catch that idea.
My husband never looked up at me. He shook his head from where he sat and announced, “You are trying to do too many things at one time.”
I was annoyed. Partly I was annoyed because he had commentary on my personal mutterings. Mostly I was annoyed because he was right (NEVER tell him I said that). I had been caught up in my “much doing” and was getting nothing done.
The good news for me was that I had recently had a chat with Katharine Grubb from the 10 Minute Novelists http://www.10minutenovelists.com/. She had a brilliant plan which took all of her projects and broke them down into eight columns. She devoted time to each column every day. I had made plans to take her idea and implement it into my White Board of World Domination, but my lack of focus had led me off that path.
I needed to regain that right focus.
Regaining My Right Focus
- - Use a timer. Katharine mentioned setting a timer for 10 minutes. Chris Brogan, in “The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth,” also taunts the value of using a timer. I found digital timers at my local Big Lots that have a magnet for attaching OR a stand to set them on my desk. I have timers set at 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 5 minutes, and 60 minutes. I tackle one of the columns for a set time and then I move on to the next task – flipping between computer work and active work. The timers help hone my focus.
- Break it down into smaller bites or steps. I have a BIG DREAM goal on my White Board of World Domination. I broke my BIG DREAM into six columns. I also added columns for my “BETTER ME” tasks – spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical – and added those columns as well. I now have rotating tasks to work on so that I am not overwhelmed or burned out on any one project.
- Stay in the present. Yesterday is gone. No matter how hard I try, I will not change yesterday. I have to stop worrying about what I have not done. Changing my focus to the moment will keep me in a positive place. Each time I work on what I am doing (and I keep my energy and attention focused on the moment), it becomes more difficult for my mind to wander off into the things I did not do yesterday – or the day before. The more that I accomplish in my day and get to mark the tasks off my to-do sheet, the more focused I am on the next step.
It may not seem like much, but each accomplishment brings me closer to my BIG DREAM goal. I am investing a few minutes a day on each column, but that few minutes is setting a foundation for my success.