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Focus makes me Fabulous

March 29, 2010

If my mind was a table, this is what it might look like. Incidentally, it is what my dining room table looked like after I spent some time at it.

An alternate title for this post might be: Yet another reason why I love my Ipod.

There are days when my mind goes a mile a minute. I think most people have those days, and if you’re inclined to be more of a thinker/dreamer/creative person, you probably know what I’m talking about. On days like that, I tend to have a million ideas of things I want to accomplish. There just seems to be so much to do and I feel inspired by so many things. However, for a long time, whenever I felt like this, I wouldn’t actually accomplish much for the very reason that I wanted to do a lot – my attention was pulled in a million different directions.

Here’s where focus comes in, and my Ipod.

The past week, I’ve been kind of tired and a project I’d been working on was abandoned for a bit. I didn’t realize how much this frustrated me until someone asked me how it was coming along. I told her I hadn’t spent as much time on it as I wanted to. Then I looked back on my week and even though I know I probably needed to take it easy, I also realized I had lost my focus. I had an assignment due on Friday and this is where my attention went, but other than that I was feeling like my energy was scattered. And that’s okay, it happens. However, when this happens, I need a little push to get back on track.

Cue the FlyLady and, yes, my Ipod.

I decided I was going to spend at least three focused hours on my project today. This is something I have a hard time with when my mind is racing though. So, I turned to the Flylady, which is a website that helps scatterbrained people like myself to organize and clean their house by sending daily e-mails and having created a system that works. The website might be just a tinge on the cheesy side, but I love the extra bit of guidance that I get from it. Surprisingly, a lot of the lessons about cleaning your house apply to the rest of life as well. Who knew? The lady behind the FlyLady, Marla Cilley, is from the South and she has a lovely Southern accent. She has created several podcasts that are available as free downloads on her website. One of them is called Focus makes me Fabulous and that’s the one I turned to this morning.

One of the things she is big on is that we can do anything for 15 minutes. And honestly, through doing things 15 minutes at a time, I have accomplished a lot of things that I used to procrastinate on. I tend to leave things to the last minute. I am sooo over that now. No, kidding, I’m really not. But what I did learn is that putting a little pressure on myself by setting a timer can be all I need sometimes to get going a little sooner that I otherwise would. And I feel more in control of the process rather than relying on outside pressure. It also teaches me how much time something actually takes which helps me plan better. When the timer goes off, I sometimes find I’m so into whatever I’m doing that I keep going. Sometimes, I just decide to finish it at another time. But I always feel better having made a dent into it.

So, now I tend to carry my Ipod with me and listen to music while setting my timer for 15 minutes while cleaning or tackling another task. I also have a whole plethora of things on my Ipod which help me get positive or stay positive on days when I need a little help. A good one is the audio version of The Art of Extreme Self-Care by Cheryl Richardson, which I downloaded from Audible. Sometimes I just need reminders like this to stay in a positive mindset.

So yes, it’s not an understatement that my Ipod has probably changed my life. And focus does make me fabulous, no?
As for my project? I made some good progress on it today. I will share more when it’s finished!

You probably have your own methods for organizing your life. What are ways that you keep yourself on track?


One Comment leave one →
  1. March 29, 2010 9:48 pm

    That sounds like a great method to keep yourself focused. I’ll have to try that. Usually, I just make lots and lots of lists, because I do so love crossing things off them! Looking forward to hearing more about the project… :)

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