Nine days into the new year and I find myself playing “catch up.” Over the last few months I had been in the planning stages of figuring out how I wanted to go about presenting The Grammar-less Life for the new year (new logo and theme so far). I had a lot of new ideas and projects that I wanted to act on and start once 2020 began.
A lot of preparation on my behalf fell to the waist-side though once the holidays began because I needed to dedicate that time to kids and family. Then I got sick, because the winter time sux, and that took me out for an entire week (the kids fell ill as well, which only added to the redirection of my focus).
Now, nearly a week into the new year and I (and my kids) have fully recovered so that I may get back to the original plan I started back in early October of 2019. I have so much to work on along with so many ideas to pursue that I am lacking focus, and for a creative – lacking focus can be disastrous – a lot’s going on but nothing is actually getting done. I even received a journal for Christmas that I vowed to write in everyday starting January 1st, 2020 that hasn’t been touched since that first journal entry on January 1st, 2020.
So, one of the ideas I had for TGL was to come up with a word each month and allow that word to guide me through life and my creative process. The word for January is: FOCUS. The goal this month is to focus my thoughts so that my energy is evenly distributed among the things that need my attention in order for me, my children and my creative endeavors to properly flourish. I have written about staying FOCUSED before in Land of a Million Run-on Sentences. This is definitely a recurring theme in every creative’s life that needs reiteration.
Here are 5 ways that I feel will help me (and those of you reading this) to maintain FOCUS from here on out:
1. Avoid negative thoughts and draining people as much as possible because focusing on the negative can pull you away from your goal(s) and what you need to accomplish. They have a tendency to fill up your head space and cause you to lack motivation, which then halts your focus.
2. Create a to-do list each day (or week) and check off the items that are completed as you go. Whatever item you do not complete put it on the next day’s (or week’s) to-do list. A to-do list will help eliminate procrastination.
3. Find a time (for at least an hour or more) and a space that is all yours. Nothing and no one can penetrate your space of productivity but you. Make this space comfortable and distraction-free, but not too comfortable to where you are compelled to sleep as opposed to create.
4. UNPLUG. UNPLUG. UNPLUG. As entertaining and interesting the internet and social media can be – you have to resist the urge to connect because it will literally waste your time and suck up all your energy.
5. Before you begin to work/create…meditate or train your brain to stay focused on the task at hand. Just for 10-15mins close your eyes, clear your mind, think about the task at hand and visualize how you will accomplish it.
I’m sure there are plenty of other ways to help me stay focused, but I think this short list of 5 will help me get started onto a well-focused path of productivity from here on out.