If you are here, reading articles on Creative Income, the chances that you are a creative person are pretty good.
Let me ask you a question… Were you ALWAYS creative? So creative that you could build a business around/with it?
Or did you, knowing that you had some creativity in you, decide to grow your creativity muscle? Did you doodle, paint, sew and make your way into a creative person? Did you get so good at that creativity and make so many pretty things that your family, friends and neighbors started asking for your creations? Did that then turn into a business for you?
If that is the case, then (for the sake of this discussion) you worked and strengthened your creativity muscle.
I’ve been wondering lately about FOCUS. Maybe it’s a muscle too?
I often hear creatives complain about a lack of focus. People often talk about how they started writing an article and then somehow found themselves checking facebook.
Oh, Wait. That was me.
But seriously, I hear it all of the time and I DO lose focus too. Now the question is – If I flexed my creative muscle enough to be able to build a creative business then can I flex my FOCUS muscle and be a more focused person?
It stands to reason. Right?
Think of building your body muscles. The idea is to work, train and increase your endurance. No one ever starts out dead lifting 200 pounds at the start of their training. So just like with lifting weights we have to work our way up to heavier weights – or longer periods of focus.
Lets look at some ways we could do that.
What are your bad habits when it comes to focusing on your work? What are the things that distract you the most?
Is it social media? I know that I have a HUGE issue with that. I work in my studio alone all day and I often find myself checking my social platforms for interaction. Now that Facebook has a little “alert” that lets you know when someone comments on your status or on a status you commented on it’s even easier to get distracted. Do you HAVE to answer your online friends right away? Will the world come to a screeching halt?
No, there will be plenty of time to engage once some of your work is done.
Notice I didn’t say get ALL of your work done.
You can get sucked into all sorts of distractions if you aren’t careful.
And that little alert noise CAN be turned off.
So what are the bad habits you have that distract you from being focused on your work? Make a list, be aware and make sure to take SCHEDULED breaks so that you can still have a little fun too. Just be sure to take care of the things on your “TO DO” list.
Set a timer- Of course it’s EASY to SAY set a timer to stay focused on one task at a time but also set a timer when you are allowing yourself “fun” time too. It’s so easy to start chasing links and end up in a field full of rabbit holes and look up to see that it’s time to make dinner and you’ve not gotten all of your work done.
Not that I’ve ever done that.
Let’s say you set a timer and work like mad for an hour on, say, writing an article. You set the timer and ready, set go! But then you get distracted for a second because you remember you wanted to send an email. Don’t stop what you are working on but do take a minute to jot a note to remind yourself to do it after the timer goes off. Get back to work, finish out your hour and THEN send the email.
One way to stay focused is to have a short list of the most important things that need to be accomplished each day. The printable I shared in this post The Work/Life Balance and Being Organized might help. You can choose to get ALL of the important things done before you take a break or take a break in between each task. Just remember to set a timer to keep you on task.
Are you ready to build your focus muscle?
What kinds of things do you do to help you stay focused while you are working? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments. You never know when someone might post an idea that will work wonders for you.
By: Vicki O’Dell, The Creative Goddess