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Feeling Unfocused?

December 19, 2013

Recently, I was having a very difficult time focusing on one thing. Every time I tried to focus all my attention on one task, I almost felt guilty that I chose that particular task to focus on. As soon as I would sit down to work on that task, I would think of a thousand other things I “should” have been doing. Between juggling two day jobs, my jazz band, and auditions- my head can become swamped very quickly.

  • Give Yourself Permission:
    A friend of mine told me I need to simply give myself the permission to work on whatever task I want to tackle at that time. I have tried giving myself the permission, however it still doesn’t clear my head.
  • Mind Mapping:
    This is the tactic I usually use when my head is clouded. I get out a sheet of paper and write down the first thing that comes to mind. One by one, I link together all the different things that are swirling around in my head. Soon, I have a “map” of tasks, concerns, ideas, etc. all laid out on a sheet of paper. It’s much easier to take all of the clutter out of my head and put it on paper.
  • Run:
    I have never been very athletic, but recently I found when I feel frustrated and unfocused- running seems to be the best medicine. Any problem I may have been stressing over before seems to melt away when I run. It releases all the endorphins, and by the time I’m done- my head feels much clearer. I’m by no means a professional runner- I don’t have specific clothes that I wear, and I don’t keep track of how far I run. I just run up and down the streets, wherever there are less people. 
  • Hot Shower:
    Sometimes, you just have to take a moment, step away from everything, and take a hot shower. It makes your body feel better, therefore increasing your mental wellbeing.
  • Timer:
    Sometimes it’s good to time your work. That way you can set breaks for yourself. I often use this tactic. I will work on my task for a certain period of time (say 30 minutes), and when the timer goes off, I give myself a break (say 10 minutes). I repeat this process until the task is done, or until I have completed a satisfactory amount of work. It gives me a goal to work towards!
  • Clean Your Workspace:
    I am normally not a firm believer in this idea. Did you know studies actually show that people who have a messier workspace tend to be more creative? I believe that one, as mine is always a total wreck. However, yesterday I decided that wreck was just becoming too overwhelming, and it was actually beginning to reverse my creativity. I couldn’t focus on the tasks at hand, because I was constantly thinking about the mess around me. Plus I couldn’t find the tools I required to DO my work! Not good. So I did a thorough cleaning. I cleaned the clutter off my desk and out of my head. That was a big help!

To be honest, I think all these tips sound cliché- but they really work! They have made a big difference in my productivity level. What do you do when your head is cluttered or you are having trouble focusing?

The Growing Artist Signature

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2013 2:55 pm

    Whenever I’m trying to get work done, I have a specific Starbucks that I like going to. Nine out of ten times, I’m able to stay focused and crack down on one or more tasks that I’ve been putting off. If I’m working at home and find myself getting distracted, that’s when I allow myself to take a break and either chat with my roommmates, or watch an episode of something short on netflix. Although I love the timer idea. That’s one I definitely want to try.

    • The Growing Artist permalink
      December 20, 2013 11:32 pm

      I love that idea! Sometimes I forget or am too lazy to venture out, but it’s always better when I do. Next time I get stuck, I will definitely keep this in mind! Thanks, Chicago Actor!

  2. California Triple-Threat permalink
    January 11, 2014 4:48 pm

    I needed to read this! I have been so distracted and not finishing tasks and looking for ways to keep myself focused. I want to try all of these now. Something I often do is turn on a tv series on netflix that I’m not too invested in when I have things like stapling/copying/sewing/ab workouts to do. But it’s not very helpful when I have to learn music or memorize a script or write a blog… 🙂

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