Let’s Take it One Step at a Time

focus

“There’s too much on all fronts. How can I focus? I feel like my focus is broken. HELP.”
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Can you relate to this theme I’m hearing from client after client, from colleague after colleague?
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Whether it’s what’s happening in your personal life, managing work responsibilities, or whiplash regarding news from around the world – it’s making it hard to focus.
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Plus, these pieces (HERE and HERE) among others discuss the impact 2+ years of a raging pandemic have had on our brains and ability to prioritize and focus. So, it’s science! The fact that you are having a hard time is backed by science, and also, it’s normal to be a human having a tough experience at any moment throughout life, not to mention right now.
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Because this feeling is so universal at present, I thought I’d offer a few strategies for managing. 
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First, acknowledge and name what is present for you. Are you sad? Stressed? Anxious? Frozen? Gotta name it to tame it. This is a zero tolerance for beating ourselves up zone. Honestly, when has beating ourselves up ever resulted in increased productivity? Never, the answer is never. Perhaps it’s galvanized some action over time, but at what cost? At the very least a reinforcement of a negative and critical inner/ talk track. Yuck. So, if you’re needing some space to feel feelings, please do it, and without an agenda. 
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Make time your friend, and not your enemy. It’s true there never seems to be enough time, and it can feel like a losing battle to be productive right now. I get it completely. So I offer you this: what small (and I mean teeny tiny) actions can you lean into right now? This isn’t about tackling a mountain all at once, this is about giving yourself a feeling of motion, a sense of mastery, and evidence that you can trust yourself to move what you want forward. Starting small, when the world feels so big, is a great way to begin.
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Name your levers. Many of my clients and friends feel a tremendous amount of guilt when they can’t do all-the-things. To this I say: DUH. No one can do or be everything to anyone! Gosh we’d really never get anything done if we were spread so thin. To counteract this experience, I think it’s a good idea to develop a menu of ways you like to help, show up, engage, and activate on what’s important to you and your values. Make those items what YOU are best at, because this helps make it sustainable.
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And finally, honor that you are normal. Being human on planet earth is not simple. Life is complicated and messy, and if you’re having a hard time, YOU ARE NORMAL. (and if you aren’t, also normal!!). We humans contain multitudes, and having a range of experiences, a range of periods of productivity, is par for the course. Be gentle with yourself.
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Let’s take it one step at a time. 🧡
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