Man, I am TOTALLY on a roll with all these blog posts right now! It very much helps that I figured out how to schedule posts to post later…and that KP has been busy working on a script for the past few nights so I’m not totally ignoring him when I sit on the couch with my laptop typing away.
I’ve missed a couple weeks, but I’m back to linking up with Call Her Happy for Five Favorites. This week’s topic will be 5 Favorite Ways to Find Focus When I Have No Focus (which is usually because I have too much I want to do).
1) If I’m REALLY scatterbrained, I start with a cathartic to-do list. There’s no organization or columns to these lists, and I just write it all out, every task on a new line, just to get it out of my head. These lists are less about prioritizing, and are more about freeing up space in my brain so I have more room to think.
2) If I’m someplace where I don’t have to focus on kids (or if they’re sleeping/occupied), I put on headphones and Pandora. Just tuning out the constant noise of life around me helps me pay attention solely to whatever it is that’s in front of me. (Seriously, the cacophony of young children. I had no idea how wonderful quiet was when I once I had it.)
3) I find one thing, one very small thing, and then do it, in order to JUST DO SOMETHING. I skim through my cathartic to-do list (see #1 above), mentally skipping over anything that doesn’t absolutely have to be done. Things I regularly skip over (and am currently skipping over right now) include: the dirty dishes in the sink, wiping the high chair off from lunch, and sweeping the lunch mess up off the floor. The things on my to-do list that I usually find to jumpstart me into action include: replying to that easy-to-answer email, filing those one or two documents that just need to be moved from one place to another, opening up a new blank Office or Word document and putting a title on it.
4) If I’m really stuck, or if there is that one thing glaring at me that won’t take up too much time and that I really, really, really want to do right now and won’t be able to focus until I’ve done it, then I do it. Yes, in case you were wondering, this very blog post you’re reading right now is my one thing. I will use this naptime to put on my headphones, turn on Pandora and work, work, work, as soon as I hit Publish.
5) I give myself tiny incentives. I don’t care if that’s childish to need. It helps. I tell myself that if I finish those purchase orders, or that document I need to create, or if I make that phone call that I need to (I hate talking on the phone 🙁 ), that I can have a cookie. Well, ok, it’s not usually a cookie, but maybe another cup of coffee, or some chocolate chips (am I the only one who eats them straight out of the bag?), or I’ll go take a shower while the kids are napping (yes, taking a shower is sometimes my reward to myself. Other work from home moms with young kids who don’t leave the house often hopefully understand).
Ok, back to work time for me!