I don’t know about you, but as I go through my day, it can be tough to focus on the important stuff. There are so many distractions calling out to us – Brad popping into my office with questions, emails, meetings with clients or coffee with girlfriends, kids texting me, Facebook notifications, and much, much more.
All that distraction comes at a price. It makes us more stressed, more frenzied, and pulled in more directions. It slows us down. It shuts off the idea generator in our heads because there’s too much to pay attention to. Worst of all, we don’t do our best work when we’re unfocused and trying to multitask.
What’s a busy supermom to do? Improve her focus!
Improving your focus supercharges both your creativity and your productivity. You get more done in less time, what you produce is of greater quality, and you’ll be ready to go on to your next brilliant project when you finish this one.
This type of focus flows from having a clear plan in place with timelines for each of your projects in your business. One fun way I do this is with sticky notes. Check out my YouTube video on my sticky notes calendar system for creatives here.
But you can also increase focus with the 7 fun ideas below. Because all work and no play makes Minette totally stressed out, how about you?
All is not lost if you don’t think of yourself as being good at focusing.
Many creative entrepreneurs don’t. These are my 7 favorite ways for creatives to improve their ability to focus.
1. Creative movement
When was the last time you got distracted while dancing? It’s hard to do. You’re in the moment, you’re having fun, and you’re fully engaging your body. Exercise every day in a way that’s enjoyable to you. Take a walk, play basketball with your kids, make your own dance party, or do some yoga.
I love Pandora or Amazon Music. A little Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars can really get me moving!
2. Listen to Music
Listening to music helps improve your focus, if you’re doing nothing else. Really concentrate on the music. Try to focus on a single instrument. I have two kids who are drummers, I listen in to the drum parts or listen in for the piano and bass parts (also instruments they play.)
Try to allocate at least a few minutes each day to meditate, even if it’s just a short breathing exercise. Focus on your breathing and when your mind wanders, bring your thoughts back to your breath. New to meditation? Check out Headspace. It’s a website and app for your smartphone that offers a great introduction.
4. Work on Something Visual
Create a Zentangle, this is a fun, meditative form of drawing that’s great for focus. Build something that’s creative. Try hand lettering. Do crossword puzzles. Even count the words in any paragraph from a book. Focusing your eyes helps focus your mind.
5. Clear the Clutter
Set a timer and take five or ten minutes to clean up your desk or office. Remove the clutter and work on making the space pleasing to the eye. Bring in any soothing colors or ambient noise you might enjoy.
6. Distraction To-Do List
This is the opposite of your to-do list. It’s a great thing to do first thing when you get to your desk or before you get started on a project. Take a moment to write down all of the things popping into your head, like “What was the name of the actor in that movie?” or “How long will it take me to drive to the zoo tomorrow?” Come back to the list once you’ve completed the project or it’s time for a real break.
7. Play Number or Concentration Games
Try this exercise next time you need to get your head in the game. Count from one hundred backward to one. Once that’s easy for you, make it more difficult by counting backward from one hundred by threes. For example, 100, 97, 94, and so on. There are also lots of apps that offer fun games to improve your ability to concentrate like Lumosity.
The most important thing is to make sure it feels playful and fun, not like another task on your to-do list that you don’t really want to do.
Need more help with time management, check out my best-selling book on Amazon: A Time Management System for Creative Entrepreneurs.
Share in the comments below some of your favorite ways to create more focus in your day.