This morning I asked a client if she was having a hard time with time management. She had just described how painful it was to see the images in the news and then of course she wanted to post relevant items on her FB page. And yeah, there was some online shopping therapy, too. Lots of stuff in the cart but nothing bought. So when I asked, I was sure she'd say Yes, I need time-management suggestions. Instead, her response was "Focus Management. I need to focus." Brilliant.
How true is that phrase for the world we find ourselves in right now? We have such a hard time turning off the world, the world that is constantly hounding us to pay attention to it, that we don't get anything done. It's even worse if we have a lot of time. And even if we don't, we seem to always find a moment to look at our News app, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. And if we aren't getting notifications we're checking it every chance we get. I have a friend who's had to put a stop watch on for her bathroom breaks at work because she's reading the news on the turlet.
Quick suggestions for focusing:
*When you're writing, turn off your WiFi. Duh, right? But we don't always remember to do it.
*If you find you're always reaching for your phone, looking at Facebook one more time, or as my client described, look for one pair of shoes and four hours later your life is lost, then shut off your phone for an afternoon. A whole afternoon. Have "Forget My Phone" Friday Night. See what a little chunk of time can do to show you up close a) your addiction and b) how peaceful life can be without "the constant."
*As for when you allow yourself to be online, put a timer on. You know how I LOVE timers. Looking for flip flops? 20 minutes MAX, and I mean from perusing to ordering. Seeing what horrible items are in the news? 15 minutes max PER DAY. Period. End of story. Are you researching for your project and suddenly it goes from researching to suddenly some deep diving into Reddit? Yeah, I've played in that rabbit hole. Let me tell ya, research is a half hour endeavor. Period. In fact, write a list of what it is you're needing to find out before you take the research plunge. Then cross off your list what you find out while the time is ticking away and boom, shut the computer OFF when the half hour is up. Ding! You haven't wasted your life away.
Focusing isn't easy. But you don't want to be fuzzy. You want to feel good and accomplished and like you're moving forward on the daily. So try these very simple suggestions and let the world spin while you spin your gold. You won't regret it.
Writer, Writing Coach, Writer Supporter.