I used to struggle to focus on one task at a time, but I’ve learned how to change my mindset and get more done productively.

I admire those people who have a few interests that consume most of their time. Who are content with doing the same things over and over again and find real peace and joy in doing so. I am not one of those people. I find myself thinking of so many things, so many possibilities, wanting to go this way and that way. The problem with that though, is it’s hard to settle in on one thing or another for long enough to really make it work.

I recently had an idea about using my books and creating some digital downloads that went along with them. But I’m also working on my Etsy shop, and I have another video to film and edit for YouTube. I also have 2 more weeks of teaching Seminary this school year, and we have some fun things planned that require some time ahead of those particular classes for preparation. I need to practice the piano, just because, and my paintings, well, that’s where I relax, when I have the time to paint. That’s one though, that I usually make time for at least every couple of days if not every day. I have a 5K race to finish planning and prepping for, and upcoming bazaars to plan for as well as shops to get my stuff in ahead of the upcoming tourist season.

Some days it’s hard to focus. But over the years I have learned how to do that a lot better than I used to. I have written about some of these ideas in past posts, but I’ll just share a few of the general ideas that help me to focus on a daily basis and link to the previous articles along the way.

Developing a list of priorities is key for me. Every big decision I make for my time and how I use it runs through my priorities. I don’t conscientiously think about my priority list when I have smaller decisions to make, at least not anymore. I used to quite a bit, but when you do something long enough, it becomes a habit which makes decision making a lot quicker and easier.

Setting clear goals makes a huge difference in utilizing my time well each day. I find when I don’t have something I’m aiming for or trying to achieve, I tend to be more flitty from one tasks to the next, and don’t complete the tasks as well or in a timely manner, and sometimes not at all. But when I have clear direction, I can move forward with more purpose and find that I get more accomplished in less time.

Being able to measure my progress makes a difference as well. I love taking progress photos of my art. Sometimes I share them, sometimes not, but for me I can see where I started, and then how I got to the finished painting. But it works the same way with cleaning my house, getting my prints made and packaged, developing new products, practicing a piece of music until I have it down, whatever it is, seeing the progress makes it easier to stay on task and get jobs done rather than half done and then moving on.

It’s interesting how each one of us is wired so differently. If you enjoy sitting on the porch for hours, there’s nothing wrong with that. If you like to go go go, there’s nothing wrong with that, and if you mind is constantly abuzz with new ideas and possibilities like mine is, well that’s alright. But overload and overwhelm don’t have to take over when we have clear objectives in mind and a plan to get there. I am grateful for what I have learned over the years to help me focus and accomplish, I want to say more, but it’s not more, just accomplish what I have determined to be important in my life.

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