How to stay focused (with all the distraction)
Are you a bit 'scatty' in your demeanor?
Is your default to hop from one thing to the next? Do you find it hard to focus?
And ooohhhh this is a biggie....when's the last time you actually finished something?!
I know that feeling well. I don't think I've ever finished reading a book.
I was well-known in my family for having a butterfly mind, flitting from one thing to the next, not giving anything my ‘all’, and most of the time, I wasn’t all ‘there’. Focusing on anything was challenging, I’d lose my train-of-thought so easily. I never finished anything, and when it came to school, I found it really hard to revise....and I'd always be in the bottom five :-(
I just couldn't retain information, especially if it was important. It would slowly seep out of my pores, or come in one-ear and stream straight out the other. It was really frustrating and no-one understood. So I rebelled. Maybe it was easier to rebel, than try and understand how to work it out.
I'm sure it was ADHD....but it wasn't a thing then, and so I just got on with it (or I didn’t).
Fast forward to now and it’s still a thing. I still have issues when i'm trying to focus. It’s mainly when working on juicy things, where I’m creating something big, or working on a big proposal for a company I really want to work with, or writing the first chapter of my book. Anything that throws me out of my comfort zone, things that when finished, mean more visibility, more in my power, more 'out-there' and even more 'seen'.
5 years ago during a plant healing ceremony (ayahuasca) in Peru, I asked why. And the answer I got was plain and simple. The medicine told me, it was so my brain wouldn't get overloaded with information and knowledge. This seemed key because more information meant more knowledge and more brain space taken up. Plus I would naturally want to question everything, thus creating barriers to receive the healing and intuitive work. At the time, it didn't make complete sense, but it does now, and it’s helped me finally accept my scattiness.
Most people who know me well now, would say I was super on-it and pretty organised, but I definitely have a tendency to get very easily distracted. It's so deeply engrained in my brain that I have to watch myself....cos my mind might just wander off and ohhhh....(eyes divert to an alert from instagram).
So this is how I now manage my butterfly mind:
1) Do AND Be. Mix up your week and have 'do'ing' days and 'be'ing' days. Doing days are when you block out chunks of time in your diary to 'do' things. Being days are when you block out chunks of time in your diary to meditate, create, get lost in your thoughts etc. Having a mixture of these means more variety, and introducing be'ing days means you get to recharge your energy which is vital.
2) Brain breaks. As soon as you lose focus, take a break. Don’t keep forcing it, we are not machines! As simple as taking a break might sound, we often forget to do it. So get up and away from your desk, walk outside, grab a tea / coffee, take some deep breaths and then start again.
3) Daydream time. Allow yourself to daydream. Make this a 'thing' and call it daydream time. Go to the park and sit on the bench and daydream....go wild, get lost in your thoughts. Haaaaaahhhhh.