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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Maintaining Focus

As we near the end of January, and resolutions are falling to the wayside faster than people can line up to sue Lance Armstrong, I've found myself struggling to maintain focus. I feel like I'm wandering around in a murky fog instead of charging up the proverbial mountain.

Part of the problem is the cold, dark days of January. (Yes, I know that the days are now actually getting longer again, but the frigid temps have meant I've gotten outside less than usual, hence, less light in my life.)

Another part of the problem is that life has been fraught with stumbling blocks. These are swallowing up the emotional energy I usually use to keep myself motivated.

Lastly, I'm overwhelmed by the goals I've set for myself. I hope to accomplish more this year than ever before.

I've been using a few methods to keep myself focused and I thought I'd pass along what's worked for me in the hopes they might help someone else.

1) I'm publicly blogging my progress on my personal blog.  It probably sounds like the most narcissistic activity imaginable, but I find that "putting it out there" is making me more accountable.

2) I've planned out my work schedule for the year.  In the past I've plotted it out for 3 months at a time. Seeing it all laid out over the course of the year is helping me to remember how important it is to finish things on time.

3) I'm making it a point to try new things. I've started posting timed free-writes at Ten Minutes to the Universe. I hiked with new people in a new place (fun!).  I ran with a running group (epic fail, but at least I tried).  I'm doing a TON of new stuff in terms of my writing career (like the Confessions Blog Tour I did to market Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman).

All the little jolts of excitement/fear that accompany saying "yes" to new things, is helping to combat my overall malaise.

So how are you doing with your resolutions? What tips do you have for staying focused?  Share! (Pretty please, because I need all the help I can get!)


B.E. Sanderson said...

It sounds like you've got a whole lot better grip on staying focused than I do. You've planned out your whole year? I'm lucky if I can remember to plan out next week's guest post. ;o)

Shelley Munro said...

No resolutions for me. I plan on getting a project done by a certain date, but too much planning stresses me out. I never plan more than a couple of months out, and it's only a broad stroke plan. You sound way more organised than me :)

If I need focus, I tend to make lists and give myself deadlines. Lists are a saviour for me.

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