Everyone one else seemed so contended, sure of what they want and assertive. But after some time, it came to my realization that this was not entirely true. In fact, most people are pretty ok in one aspect of their lives and pretty messed up in another. They nurture the ability to conceal the messed up portion of their lives and allow the organized one to flourish. They seem to have mastered how to stay focused on these single dimensions of their lives. But in the end they know they still need to keep stuff in balance in other dimensions. The ultimate question is:
Do you settle or do you change?
I honestly believe its all about balance. Maybe you’re doing too much of one thing that you forget the importance of what’s left to be accomplished. You want to make your new business flourish as quick as possible but you don’t want to spend less time with your family. In many cases, you will find that it’s either one or the other. But there is a way of finding balance amongst the various faces of life.
You need to be realistic about the limits you will accept. I have often found myself trying too hard to make something happen or to complete a task only to realize how much better it feels to take a break and do something else first. We live in an age where so much has been proven possible. Success is now more imminent than ever for a greater number of people . Because of this we are always seeking to achieve as much as we can with the new windows of opportunity that have been revealed to us. The end result is a burnout or a matrix of confused goals. There is one simple way to avoid losing it in the quest of discovering how to stay focused. I call it task scheduling.
Task Scheduling involves starting bits and pieces of each piece of work. Developing efficiency is a gradually acquired skill, you cant just leap furiously into becoming the fastest web designer or article writer in an hour. What you can however do is start being effective. Everyone has an effectiveness index. This is the amount of work within a certain project (see my definition of project here) that you can do with limited know how or experience. For instance, if I was to tell you to write a financial report for a company. where would you start? If you really aim to master writing financial reports then you can start with whatever you know constitutes a financial report, say, profits, sales, dates (period ending XXX) for instance. then the next thing is to read a bit. And then you come back and try apply what you’ve learnt.. Compare what you have so far with other financial reports.. Each problem encountered is a bug that solves the puzzle.
The real issue however that comes up is – “what if we have a whole bunch of goals? Where the hell do we start and where do we end?” That’s easy. We start with everything. 15 minutes of this, 15 minutes of that and 15 minutes and back again. It becomes a self refreshing system of accomplishing goals. Making phone calls to clients after writing a report can be a form of relaxation because of the sharp contrast between each of the two tasks. In one you need to follow formal rules and methodologies while in the other you are free to be yourself and bring in your people skills. I have often found myself a tad bit more motivated to write an article after playing my guitar. I think it’s the hard work and perseverance that it takes to learn to play a new song that spills over to the article creation process.
How to use action to gain focus
Getting into the action mode can actually be entertaining if you assess problems in a creative perspective. So you have writer’s block and you don’t know how to stay focused on the topic your writing on. What if you wrote out a really good title at the top of your article before you research? Better yet add sub topics under the title. Instantaneously, you will begin to see what it is that you should actually look for to include in your article. Looking for relevant info wont be so hard after this. Look for something for 10 minutes then move on to something else like cooking. The notion that you left something hanging will steer you to want to come back and finish it as soon as possible. You’d be amazed just how you can exploit the human mind’s need to assert itself. In time, you will transform your day to day habits into an action oriented lifestyle; what I call the short code. It’s what we could term as a proactive lifestyle instead of a reactive one.