Finding Focus


I'm not sure that I'm what you'd called a motivated person, hence why exploring slower aspects of living appeals so much.  Both Nick and I are pretty laid back in general and it's easy for weeks to roll into months and for plans to become pipe dreams.

In truth, I'd say my blog has suffered from my lack of drive over the last year or so.  I've said it before, but for a small blogger, watching others' careers take off - whether it's the end goal for my blog or not (spoiler: it's not) - can be disheartening and has often left me thinking "why bother?"

But there's nothing like this 'back to school' time of year to get me all fired up again.  I've been spending regular Saturday mornings in coffee shops furiously scribbling down notes and drafting posts; finding myself looking forward to that time away to focus on nothing but writing.

I started wondering what it was about that environment which worked for me.  A busy coffee shop is certainly not free of its distractions yet I found I had more focus and inspiration than ever.  I don't think it's the element of being away from home either - in fact I was keen to recreate a similar set up in our office to further cut down on time wasted through travel (and reluctantly changing out of my pjs!)

So the offer to work with Kit Out My Office and feature one of their office desks couldn't have come at a better time. For starters it's meant Nick and I had a reshuffle of the furniture and layout in that room and I'm now tucked in a cosy nook facing away from any distractions.  I've also gone through and sorted the stationery which was littering my old desk top, reminding myself in the process of how much more stimulating I find a clutter-free working environment.

It's filtered into other areas of the house too.  Following our big clean a month or so ago I've been finding myself slipping into old habits - overlooking things dumped on the stairs, not putting jewellery away at night and leaving the hoovering "for tomorrow".  Sunday afternoon was a flurry of activity getting back on track and I'm more determined than ever to keep things up this time.

Another thing which has been increasing my productivity with regards to focusing on writing for my blog is the use of background music.  I've never been able to write with anything playing in the background but lately I've found that putting on headphones and turning on some dedicated focus music has been helping tenfold.  So much so that I've just taken out a subscription with the app I was using....something else I've never done.  I *think* this one is in the process of getting scientific/neurological proof of its methods, but you definitely don't need to spend anything if this sounds like something which may be of benefit - just have a search on YouTube.

I also migrated into a new bullet journal this month and have started using it slightly differently.  My old journal has a pattern of a month or two of dedicated entries and snazzy layouts followed by radio silence as my motivation dwindled, so I'm cultivating a new routine.  Following the five minute journal system I grab a glass of water each day and sit down for my morning entries and then fill it in again right before I go to bed.  The set up is relatively simple, I use my desk at both occasions (no more mislaid bullet journals, hurrah!) and have found the morning sections keep me grounded and motivated throughout the day whilst the nighttime entries provide a chance for winding down and reflection.

And that's how I've found my focus again, through adapting my environment alongside some daily introspection.  What tips would you recommend?

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