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!
Do you ever feel like you are running in chaos? You know, the feeling that you have so many things to do but you’re not sure how to get them all done or feel that they all need to be done now?
I have been feeling that way lately. I am trying to update my website and have some projects in the works that all need attention. As I was working on some calming and focusing on my visuals, I saw a flash of C3PO.! As a Star Wars fan, I was unclear why he came to my mind. But I then realized that 3PO is always in chaos – he is filled with anxiety and worries how life forces will get accomplished.
3PO runs around yelling and creating more discord. I realized that I have been feeling that way about the tasks I have taken on. So what was 3PO trying to tell me? Well, he showed up to bring attention to the stress I have been feeling and reminded me that I need to be more like his buddy R2D2. R2 is cool, calm and collected and seems to prefer the methodical approach to protecting the universe.
We all can take lessons from R2 that we need to protect our own universe – the space that surrounds us that helps us to work to achieve our goals. So, here are the lessons I think we can all learn:
1. Pay Attention – when life gets too chaotic, i.e. we take on too many projects or have too many worries, our bodies usually have a way of letting us know. It could be a physical sign, like aches and pains or stomach upset, or it could play out in a more physical way, such as losing things or having small “accidents”. When I wake up and have a bruise on my leg, I need to remember to slow down and look for the table that was in front of me!
2. Chaos only breeds chaos – if we feel as if life is breaking down, pushing those feelings aside will only create more. It’s the Law of Attraction at work. We need to assess the source(s) of the chaos so we can make an informed choice about which to keep, which to let go and for how we will handle what remains.
3. Change your outlook – when I think of 3PO, I always remember him as a ‘Nervous Nellie’ who acts like Chicken Little as if the sky is falling. In order to handle events and circumstances in our lives, we need to change the way we talk about them. Reframing them and challenging their reality helps to reset our cognitive mindset. Only then can you now face and deal with them.
4. Slow down – taking time to slow our minds and our bodies down will help when we feel out-of-control. Practicing the simple act of deep-breathing helps to calm both mind and body, which then allows you tap into that mind and control what you can control.
As one who believes in signs and symbols, among other things, my dream of 3CPO was an eye-opener; I have now taken a hard look at what I have piled on my plate, delegating what I can, letting go of what needed to be and focusing on the important tasks at hand. Do you ever feel like one of these droids? If so, how did you handle it? Would love to hear your thoughts!