1. Make that list, but don't let that list rule you. To-do lists are great right? They help us remember all the things we need to accomplish on any given day, week, or month. Lists are totally helpful, they really are... until they rule you. Sometimes I get so obsessed with accomplishing everything on my list, that I feel overwhelmed and can't properly focus on what I'm doing. My brain is skipping to the next thing I need to be doing and then jumping to what's coming after that. This goes hand-in-hand with my next suggestion...
2. One thing at a time, kid. Yeah. We have a ton of stuff to do in life, right? Go here, do this, see them, pick up that... instead of constantly looking ahead, grab one thing off of your list and don't think about the rest. Block that junk out. You'll get to what's important, trust me. It will be there waiting for you. Tackle one thing at a time. This really helps me with that "overwhelmed by the to-do list" thing I was just talking about.
3. Prioritize. I think this can go one of two ways, depending on your personality type. For me, putting the things I'm not that excited about at the top of my priority list ensures that my procrastinating self can't spend the last half of my day bouncing around all the things I'm not that into, and basically accomplishing nothing. I'm always more gung-ho and geared up in the first half of the work day, and I know this about myself, so I zap through the more taxing tasks while I have my brain all pumped up to do so.
If you aren't a procrastinator, you might find the opposite to be true. I have friends who do the more pleasurable tasks first, and find that those things help motivate them to tackle the harder jobs later.
5. Remind yourself that there's no such thing as absolute balance. I think a big reason I can have a hard time focusing on what I'm doing is because of self-applied pressure to balance family, work, hobbies, friends, etc. Most of us can find SOME type of balance for most of this, but I don't believe there's a perfect balance to be achieved. Even if I get myself in a specific routine, life happens. Extra things pop up. Friends call on a whim to hang out. My kids need extra attention one day. Let the pressure of "finding balance" go and just do what you can! Life is not supposed to be a well-oiled machine. It's random and messy and full of surprises. That's usually when the best things happen, anyway!
Anyway, these are some things that have helped me really focus lately. Of course, I often need reminded of these points, but I've been trying hard to be very present in whatever I'm doing.
What are some things you do to help you focus when you feel scattered or overwhelmed? Let's talk about it! xo.
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