Lately I’ve been lacking focus.
I’ve been distracted by the early spring weather and the fun times that come with it.
The problem with lack of focus, though – if we let it go for too long, it messes with our systems (Our systems being how we do “stuff” not our biology). That’s where I was the last few weeks. And I’m finding that now I have to rebuild or restart some of my systems that should have been flowing smoothly.
But as difficult as that is for me, that provides me the opportunity to write about it and hopefully helps me help you.
When our schedule becomes unmanageable or we have times of stress, we need to be able to rely on our systems and the processes we’ve put into them even more. If we’ve let them slip, we can’t fall into the comfort of them. At that point, our fight or flight takes over and typically makes a mess for us.
Next thing we know, the laundry is piled high, work is undone, we’ve forgotten to return calls and most likely someone has hurt feelings – needlessly. Of course, for some people, the mess is worse – a missed critical deadline at work, failure to pay a bill resulting in fees and charges. In general – MORE STRESS at a time when we need exactly the opposite.
Believe it or not, some people actually structure their lives in a manner such that they often live in this chaos. More comfortable with the drama than the lack of. The chaos is familiar. The patterns feel ‘safe’.
But, how can we move past this?
One of my best tools to redirect my focus is to capture where my time is going. Making this conscious effort to track what you are doing and when gives you great insight into where you are ‘wasting’ time and on what your focus has been.
How? Start now. Doesn’t matter what time it is now.
Pull out a piece of paper and simply write it down. What you’re doing right now.
The start time, the end time. What you do next. Continue.
Start the minute you wake up. End when you get into bed. The subsequent day should include a review of the previous day early enough in the day that you can correct anything critical.
Some recommend doing this for a day. I don’t think a day is enough. For me, how long I do it depends on how long I was out of focus. How long it takes to get back into focus. Now that I’ve used this technique over a few years, it typically takes me only a day to get readjusted.
Even if you aren’t out of focus, you can still utilize this technique. Any time you feel like you don’t have enough hours in the day or you want to find a way to do more, get more. Track your time. Look for the redundancy, the time wasters, the unnecessary tasks. And do something about it.
We all have the same 1440 minutes in every day.
What are you going to do with yours?