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Keeping Focused As A Creative

“Focus”. The word that seems to be truly important but only when it’s being mouthed by a sweaty coach as he cheers on his determined protege during an intense slow motion training montage. They always find their focus in the end and beat that one protagonist that’s always just a little misunderstood.

You leave the theatre (or close out of Netflix respectfully) feeling pumped up and ready to take on the project you’ve been putting off for days…and then the feeling’s gone. You’re back to where you started, maybe even a little further behind as you take the knock to your confidence and newfound can-do attitude.

Now what do you do? Find a new inspiring film? Could there maybe be some focus juice selling on the black market? But would I then have to sell something in exchange on the black market?

I’m sure these are all questions that go through the average joes cranium. I can imagine this may be even worse if you’re a self proclaimed creative.

We’re just built differently. Your minds on hyper drive, there are highs and lows at every corner but you still want to get things done. You still want to see a project through and the frustration of not being able to transfer your creative thoughts or projects efficiently gnaws at your creative core locking you in the same dreadful cycle: Think of Idea, attempt to produce ideas, get distracted, feel bad about it, think of a new idea.

Well guys I’ve come up with a list of 6 things that have helped me, a self proclaimed creative, to keep my focus.

  1. First of all acknowledge your brain’s battle! The more you deny it the harder it will be to fix. Keep an eye on your thoughts and what’s causing you to drift from your original goal.
  2. Ask yourself, what’s distracting me? Then make sure that when you’re ready to knuckle down, you are far from said distraction. If it’s your phone, put it in another room. If it’s a partner, ask them to give you space for a few hours.
  3. What projects can you stay focused for longer in? You should identify them and do them more often. Not only will this train your brain to focus but it will improve your creative flow if you’re seeing constant results.
  4. Figure out if you work better alone or in a group. Some people’s creativity thrives off others and some people’s creativity will feel crowded. Which one are you? Can you make a change? Measure your focus progression afterwards.
  5. What is your environment like? Are you stuck at home staring at the same wall? Are you going to the same coffee shops and cafes? Are you even comfortable? You should change it up as much as you can to get your creativity flowing. Maybe rearrange your desk for the day, try the coffee shop or café across the street from your regular. A comfortable environment will enable you to focus more on the project at hand. You’re eliminating subconscious distractions.
  6. Last but not least BE KIND TO YOURSELF! If you’re constantly beating yourself up over a lack of focus you’re actually being incredibly counter productive. Pace yourself and reward your efforts with affirmations and small breaks. You’re telling your brain that focus mode is a good and comfortable place to be when you need to apply yourself creatively.

So that was my list. I can only hope it will help! Be your own inspirational character. Participate in your own montage, soundtrack and everything. There’s no need for the black market. You already hold the key to your success, sometimes you just need to be shown the door. Happy creating!

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Written by Afroqueen

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