I can’t speak for you so I’ll just speak for me. As a creative, there are times when I really wrestle with focus. There are so many ideas going through my head at any one given time that I have a hard time locking in on just one. Or sometimes the difficulty is I have two things in mind to do, one is going to be fun, the other is more like drudgery but needs to be done to keep the ball moving forward. Have you been there? There are times when it’s just really hard to focus. Here are a few things I have found that seem to help:
- The distracting idea usually has value but it will keep you from getting where you need to be with the more pressing matter. I always keep a sketch book or a journal nearby. That way I can take a short break, write my idea down or do a quick sketch .Once I know I’ve preserved it, I can usually put it aside and get back to the matter at hand.
- Keep your mission statement nearby. Sometimes a distracting idea is just that a distraction. Compare it to your mission statement and don’t rationalize. If an idea won’t serve to move your mission forward, it’s going to hold you back. Also for the Christ following creative the question, “does this idea honor God?” is a great filter for discernment.
- In cases of procrastination, have a clear picture of the goal and the end result. That will usually help you to push through the drudgery, get it done and “ship it.”
- Eliminate external distractions. Web 2.0 is one of the greatest inventions the world has seen for connecting people and communicating ideas, it is also, at times, a colossal distraction. Look at the things in your day that are robbing you of your focus and remove them from your creative/productive time.
- And of course the biggest thing is pray, asking God to help you to focus.
Ideas are the lifeblood of the creative, but too many, unrestrained will distract you and keep you from accomplishing anything. Honor the idea, record it and get on with what you need to do.
How’s your focus these days? What are you procrastinating about? How can you regain focus?