A few months ago I felt like someone had put me in a blender with my projects and commitments then pushed start. I was getting whiplash moving from one task to another. Not only was I physically exhausted, I was mentally yawning from the constant shallow demands I was placing on myself. My focus had gone walkabout. My frustration was gaining momentum. I yearned for the slow pace during my travels. I experienced the grandeur of my own presence wholly and increased vigilance of reaching out to others, strangers or otherwise. It was time for a mental health tune-up from my psychologist. They offered some great tips and cemented my ability to find focus during hectic seasons:
Do not put a commodity on busy-ness
‘Busy’ is often the stock response to questions relating to how you are. We live in a time where it is deemed positive to do all things all the time. This attitude creates a false and inflated sense of importance not only in a person, but also within a community.
Recently I have refrained from using ‘busy’ as a response. This elevates time and tasks into something to share with others. When you turn your ‘busy’ into ‘productive’, your mentality shifts into one of scrambled attempts into a honed and attentive attitude, which you can carry through your walk of life.
Busy-ness is like a drug, it can be addictive but where are the fruits of your efforts? Focus is about quality over quantity; choose what to do and do it well.
Stand up to FOMO
Desperate for work and educational experience a few years ago, I said ‘yes’ to every opportunity that came along. Now I am in a position where I can say no. There is a stigma attached to saying ‘No, I cannot do this’. This is called Fear of Missing Out. The first time I said no to a request, I was overwhelmed by the seemingly lost prospects that I lost track of my vision and appreciation of what I actually had. I also thought that people hated me for saying no. I had to learn to be comfortable with saying no.
Saying no is the easy part; maintaining your stance and not giving in is the hard part. Recognise that your time, gifts and focus are valuable, and others will respect you for it.
Make ‘you’ a priority
In the past, I gave too much of my focus to other people that I neglected myself. You are no good to anyone (especially yourself) if you don’t put you first. Remember, this is not a selfish thing to do. When you make yourself a priority you check back in with yourself and constantly reassess what is important. This is handy for keeping stress in check and recharging yourself. Add yourself to your To Do list and do something that you enjoy every week.
Another crucial activity is sleep. Sleep often takes the back seat in hectic seasons. The quality of your sleep affects the quality of your waking life, including mental sharpness, productivity, emotional balance and creativity. No other activity delivers so many benefits with little effort.
Call to action
If you were like me, feeling scattered and frustrated, take some time to define what is important to you. Once you have your list, evaluate what is and is not supporting your priorities within your life structure. Then go discover activities and people with similar priorities as you. The simple act of focusing on what is important to you will lead to breakthroughs.
Finding your focus enables you to grasp what is important to you and therefore live the authentic and purposeful life of a free woman.
Now to you – how do you find focus during the hectic seasons? Share below.