Stop what you are doing and … FOCUS.

Our sensory acuity is under attack like never before. Social media is hardly helping as one new platform emerges right on the heels of another. And then there is the need to work harder than ever just to stand still.

When was the last time you unplugged from the TV, phone or internet? You find solace in the car because the level of distraction, even allowing for the congested roads, is comparatively low.

But, of course, as soon as we step into the office or go back home, we are working full time just to keep up.

Stop.

Think.

Focus.

Let … me … repeat.

!Stop.

!Think.

!Focus.

You have to be disciplined with yourself.  This is serious work.

Think about the one thing that if you were possessed of a superpower you would change about yourself or the situation.

Listen to your internal self. Don’t dismiss that chatter as idle nonsense. It is usually bearing down on what you know you need to do.

Buy a journal. I use various but I make sure that I capture my thinking time on paper. I have lost count of the number of times previously I would have been out and about, stepped into a great idea, and then lost it because I had no means of capturing it (I have never liked writing on my hands).

Find a space that allows you to think. Not too hot, not too cold and somewhere that allows you to dream.

If you don’t make this a discipline you will fall back into your old ways.

I am episodic like everyone else, but one thing I have cracked is making time everyday for reading (as if you haven’t guessed by my Twitter stream). I always allow a period to reflect and think about what I have read, and sometimes it gives rise to a blog post or two.

Stop.

Think.

Focus.

Make your time count: Time management is only possible if you work out in advance what is important to you and plan your life accordingly. If you are trapped in a cycle of despairing repetitiveness, then you will look back in 12 months time and find that this year looks much the same as last year.

Finding time for yourself is one of the most important things you can be doing now. It is not selfish and is hugely restorative. I am blessed to live near Dartmoor and being close to nature means that it doesn’t take me long to remind myself of what is important.

Working with your hands also helps you connect but only if you don’t find that you get frustrated in not making the progress you wish.

Take up a hobby.

Find your creative passion. Draw, write, blog, sing or dance. Anything really that allows you time away from the coalface.

From a personal perspective, I have found that just turning off the computer, not giving into the Resistance (see Steven Pressfield’s remarkable book the War of Art) and doing something for pleasure has made me realise what I really want.

Stop.

Think.

Focus.

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