I listened to a podcast about 1 month ago by Elise Blaha Cripe and the topic was focus. Elise offered her advice on how you do it, along with tips for ways to help yourself more productively focus on a task at hand. She discussed how she taps into the sweet spot of perfect productivity to crank out some much needed work. For some it comes easier than others. For me, it's harder to stay focused without taking a break to pay a bill online, check the weather or add something to my to-do list for that day. Elise made a comment that really stuck with me. "Picking one thing to focus on gives you strength...allows you to launch other things." I think this is so true, so I kept listening.
Elise recommended tackling one idea, or one task, at a time. Try to push aside all the other things swarming around in your head. Once it is accomplished, you then free up time and energy to focus on the one thing that is most important or most pressing. Once accomplished, you're then moving closer to your BIG GOAL. Slow and steady. If you try to take it all in at once it becomes so overwhelming. You'll inevitably freeze, lose momentum, energy and productivity. Then the feelings of guilt seep in because you have not accomplished said BIG GOAL and you are in the same spot you were before. The lousy cycle just continues leaving you in a rut.
Tactics that can help recommended by Elise are: remove your cell phone when you are working so you are not tempted to check Instagram, Facebook, Twitter - you name it. Only allow yourself to use your laptop for work and use an iPad or another device for down time and fun things like checking your personal blogs, emails, and photos. For me, I will go for a run or go grab a tea to break up the time, removing myself from one environment in order to experience another for some inspiration. It's that fresh perspective I need to dig in again.
As Lena Dunham recommended in one of her youtube videos promoting her new book, "make a fatty to-do list" and just hit that hard. Easier said than done, though, right? With all of life's responsibilities pulling us in one direction to the next: dogs, babies, jobs, the need to stock your house with food, clothes to be washed, places of residence to be cleaned, keeping relationships up to speed with family and friends, remembering birthdays and making time to just relax and soak up the moment for your own well-being (not to mention we live in the Information Age where we are constantly bombarded by tweets and texts and blogs and emails...nonstop!), it can definitely be overwhelming.
I keep returning to Elise's comment though: focus on one thing - slow and steady - and check it off your list. Carving out that space for yourself will give you the strength to begin new things.