Life happens and bad things happen to good people. We’ve learned that first hand this summer as we lost our youngest daughter. Our world was turned upside down and shaken more than James Bond shook his martinis. But you don’t have to experience a death in the family or another tragic event to have your focus shaken. Anything can shake our focus. No matter how big or small the reason, losing your focus can be devastating to your writing and your life overall.
So how does one recover focus? Well, I’m not going to profess to be an expert but I can tell you how I’m personally tackling this topic and how I feel it is working for me.
Don’t fight it. When my focus left the building I took time off. The amount of time you need to take off will probably depend on what you are going through. I took over a month off from blogging and three weeks off from writing all together. It’s only depressing to try something and fail so I chose not to try until I could focus on the task and I could be successful. Even when I started writing again I did so in small chunks. I was realistic and saved my ambition for when I felt like I could handle it.
I also became hooked on lists. Now I’ve always been a fan of to-do lists or rather as I call them, goal lists. I always have a list going with two columns: to-do and completed. This way I not only see what I need to do but also my accomplishments. After I lost my focus I took this concept to a new level. While before I followed my list now I was even more dependent on it. I wrote down EVERYTHING. No matter how simple or mundane the task seemed, I included it on my list as a way to help me stay on task. I found this to be very effective and really owe the technique credit to my returning to some sense of efficiency.
While it’s been hard for me to do this next step, it has helped me in the past to get over a productive hurtle. Get up and work out! Yes, fitness is the best way to clear a cluttered or unfocused mind. So is getting out and finding some fresh air, though this is difficult to do in Saudi this time of year due to the extreme heat.
Another thing that has helped me tremendously is making a diligent effort to get motivated. I actually subscribed to a daily motivational quote app and I write each day’s quote on a board in our kitchen. This way I’m sure to see it throughout the day.
Stuff happens to us that shatters focus and efficiency. Maybe nothing in particular happened you just needed a break to refocus. Whatever the reason, these are some techniques I’ve used to find my new focus. What have you done to find focus?