Focus is my word-of-the-year. It’s a very important word indeed.
I’ll be the first to admit that staying focused is not always easy. I joke that I must have adult ADD, because my mind is so all over the place. It feels like I have a million thoughts a day, and I can easily jump from one activity to another, and another, and another… all day long. I don’t know that I have adult ADD. This is just what I imagine it must be like. I have to really try hard to accomplish any amount of focus for more than a few minutes, and it can be exhausting at times.
Even when I’m able to stay focused, for the most part, all kinds of thoughts enter my head. I keep a pad of paper nearby to jot down notes so I can quickly get back to what I was doing. Even this can be difficult, because sometimes the idea necessitates a good amount of note-taking.
I’m Learning: Take Notes Quickly & Get Back to Work
I have my own form of short hand that I use during these note-taking sessions. Sometimes I need to write just a sentence or two, or a few keywords. But when I have to take actual notes, this short-hand means it doesn’t take as long.
Then I force myself to get right back on track. Otherwise, I might not get back to what I was doing for days or weeks, or even months. (Yikes!)
Sadly, if I don’t note ideas well enough, I might forget where I was going with something. If I don’t note it at all, I will forget.
Best Places for Focus
Depending on the time of year, I write at different places. At home, at The Inn where I work, at the cafe down the street, or outside at the park or in the gardens. These places each have their benefits.
Recently I’ve been working on a series of novellas, and have been doing so at Aroma Joe’s. For some reason, even with the background music and how loud it is in general in the afternoons, I get a ton written while I’m there. I usually write for a good 3 hours when I am there, and I try to be there once a week.
I write blog posts and articles while at my other job, and tend to get three or four done per shift unless we are very busy or someone is working with me. As a matter-of-fact, I’m working a sixteen hour shift today, and this is my third post so far. I’ve also done some self-promotion. There is plenty of downtime until the season picks up again.
I love to write outside as well, and can do so for a couple of hours at a time when sitting outside in a park or at the gardens, listening to the people around me.
Not Enough Focus at Home
At home, I have a bit more difficulty concentrating. But that is where all my stuff is, and my noisy neighbors, so I guess I find it all a little distracting. I tend to do the things that don’t take long while I’m there, so I have frequent brakes.
I’m not the most focused at home, that’s for sure, but I still manage to get things done.
What Happens When You Stay Focused?
You get. Things. Done. Many, many things. More than you even thought possible. You get that series of stories written in five months. You get ahead on blog posts so you can have more time to spend with your family during summer vacation. And you get all your blogging and other tasks done for the year by November, so you can actually enjoy the holiday season.
You are able to finish what you start, and you feel good about yourself and your place in the whole scheme of things because you are accomplishing things. You are making progress.
You also meet your goals more quickly; and more fully.
I’m so happy for you.