I had several clients today who had the same issue going on – they were feeling unfocused, which led to feeling frustrated that they could not accomplish the things they needed to do. I can certainly identify as there are times when I have so many things going on that my head is spinning. I get into overwhelm and have to learn to prioritize, delegate and let go; this is the advice I gave to my clients which may help you.
Before we come to the solutions, I think it’s important to address some possible root-causes for this issue:
- Perfectionism – feeling that you have to be the best or that things have to be perfect actually signals a feeling of not being good enough, but the drive to ensure perfection is exhausting and leads to procrastination
- Low Self-worth – feeling that you don’t deserve to have the things that you want will cause you to put little effort into making them happen and actually leads to lower levels of self-worth, frustration, and depressed feelings
- People Pleasing – feeling that you have to accommodate others wishes, often before your own needs, can have you over-extended in all areas, which results in your tasks not getting done while theirs are
- Poor Time Management – not planning or incorporating enough time to get tasks done will have you playing catch-up or showing up late; the intent might be there but the preparedness and urgency are not
- Medical or Mental Health Issues – being under high stress, anxiety, depression, ADD/ADHD, or other drug or medical problems can leave one feeling unfocused and unable to get tasks done
There may be others but these are the ‘symptom’s I’ve witnessed that can have an adverse effect on one’s life. Now, for some solutions to help put tasks more in focus and done:
- I think it’s important to track your activities and time spent on them during the day; it’s amazing how many time-wasters we involve ourselves in, i.e. surfing the internet or social media sites, games, watching TV.
- Armed with this info, schedule times for these activities but not until after your important ones are worked on or completed
- List out all the activities you feel you need to do, in all areas of your life (health, home, family, school, work, etc.), along with the due dates, and then prioritize them by order of importance. Place those in your schedule.
- Develop checklists or use a whiteboard – these help to give us a visual representation of what we’re faced with as well as feeling more accomplished once that item is checked off
- Use a timer, such as on your cell phone, for tasks – this forces you to focus but for a short period of time; it’s amazing how easy it is to keep going on a task when you know you only have to sustain that activity for a short window of time, like 5 or 10 minutes – you keep on increasing that time daily which then creates a new habit (without feeling like one)
Feeling unfocused can have a huge negative impact on one’s life so identifying the source and then using strategies, like the ones above, will help you regain that focus, get more accomplished, and feel successful in the end!