Remember the Disney movie, Up. Well if you haven’t watched it, it’s definietly a sweet love story but why I’m referencing that movie has nothing to do with love. It’s about the dog in themovie. Yup, the dog. Now I don’t know the movie well but I remember laighing at the dog because he was so easily distracted by a squirrel. So much so that I often find myself quoting the movie, “SQUIRREL!” everytime my focus changes to something else. I’m really goood at getting distracted.
I don’t know if you ever have a moment where you leave one room to get something then when you get to the other room, you forgot what you were looking for… yup that’s normal for me, except half the time I can forget what I’m looking for as soon as I leave the room. I never even make it to the second room. It’s comical to me now, but I used to call myself some pretty mean things.
I know you’re probably thinking you forgot, it happens. Yes, it does but I feel like it’s so much wasted time. Pacing back and forth trying to remember what I forgot I was doing.
These days I realize that A LOT of things are pulling my attention every which way, from email, messages to social media. Everything wants my attention. It’s hard to stay focused. But here’s what I know… you can get better at focused energy. It takes a lot of intentionality but it’s possible. I’m not at all perfect at it, but I definietly get more done now that I gave up on wearing multi-tasking like it’s a badge of honor.
- Do not disturb. This little feature on your phone is gold! I use it often and not just when I’m driving. I am using it right now so I can focus on writing and not be distracted by notifications. Now I don’t put my phone on do not disturb for hours on end. Just for short increments so I can get some ~ish done.
- Lists. Now I realize not everyone likes making lists. They used to overwhelm me because I always felt that the list got longer. Let’s cross one thing off and immediately add 5 more tasks. Um, said no one ever. But when I changed my perspective on why lists are helpful, I was able to let go of the overwhelming thought of the never-ending to-do’s. Lists are for me, a brain dump. I recently discovered the Eisenhower Matrix, and it’s a game changer. After I dump everything in my head… I can prioritize what’s important and non-important, then decide what’s urgent and not urgent. I discovered a lot of my “to-do’s” are super urgent which basically means, I don’t need to do it. WHAT? I don’t HAVE to do something?!?! What a crazy thought? I’m not required to do everything in order to considered a good person!
- Calendar EVERYTHING. No joke friends, I schedule my fuelings breaks. A girl has got to get her nutrients, right? I found this great digital calendar that combines all of my appointments and my to-do tasks…with alarms. I reference it morning and night. And even a few times throughout the day.
- Create a morning routine. This right here is a non-negotiable. I wish I could tell you that my morning routine is perfect and I do it everyday without skipping a beat… but that would be total BS. But what I can tell you is that the days I follow through with my daily rituals, are much better days. Here’s the key, stay off your phone and focus on doing something for YOU within the first 30 minutes of waking up. For me, I have a couple of options but usually the first thing I do is read my Bible Devotion. From there I will take a few minutes to plan my day or at least look at my calendar for what’s planned. There’s always many moving parts but at least glancing at my schedule gives me a little perspective.
- Give yourself a break. Here’s where the desire hits reality. Everyday is a new day which can bring new challenges. Don’t beat yourself up. That’s like kicking a toddler after they’ve tripped over their own feet because they are learning to walk. The reality of life is that NO ONE has their ~ish figured out. Some people have figured out what works for them and that’s mainly because they have tried and fialed a thousand times but just didn’t share that with you. Take pride in your effort then decide to give it a try again. Maybe try something different.
At the end of the day, I’ve learned that it is ok to allow yourself to be distracted. It’s not life or death AND it’s certainly not the end of the world if you forget something. When you let go of that expectation of yourself, I have found that you will actually find more joy in life. Celebrate the small wins like they were the Super Bowl.