How to Focus when there is No One Focus
Photo courtesy of Micah Sittig.

How to Focus when there is No One Focus

Written by Janet Brent

Topics: Productivity, Self-Employment

As a self employed multipotentialite, I juggle writing gigs, web design and graphic design projects. I dream of being a life coach, having my own e-course and/or membership site, filling sold out workshops and in-person retreats, and writing Amazon bestsellers.

I have a million ideas bouncing around in my head that I have yet to implement. It’s the shiny object syndrome. One minute I want to go this way, and another minute I want to shift gears and go the other way. The next thing I know, I’ve hit a wall. Analysis paralysis at its finest (if you could even call it fine).

Even the process of starting that new blog (or this one, at this very moment) can be frightening. Coming up with a topic. Wondering what idea to pick. And don’t even get me started with an editorial calendar.

With all those ideas, it can be tough to decide on your goals and it can leave you feeling stuck, without a plan of action. I get it. I know. Because I’ve been there. Am there.

Breaking Out of Analysis Paralysis

The best way out of analysis paralysis is getting clear on what you want and then taking action. At some point, you’ve just got to decide.

I’m a big believer in manifesting the life you want but it takes laser clear focus. It’s like pointing the magnifying glass at one spot of dry grass until it creates a spark that catches fire. That’s all well and good, and even Seth Godin’s latest book, The Icarus Deception, tells us we should “fly closer to the sun” but how do we focus clearly with a million ideas in our head and multiple paths of interest? How do we combine our ideas into some semblance of clarity enough to catch a spark?

“Pick one thing and do that thing.” That’s the advice I didn’t want to hear.

It reeked of specialization and made me feel like I just wasn’t meant to be a generalist if I knew what was good for me. Can multipotentialites have focused clarity too? Sure we can.

Turn Down the Noise

Unsubscribe to all of those email lists you never read. Turn off the TV (or limit it each day). You don’t need more information and less is more.

Clarity comes not when we’re worrying about the future, but when we focus on the present moment and learn to be mindful. It is in this space where we can do our work 100% with the dedication and passion it deserves. Worry and anxiety robs us of the present moment.

The only way we’re able to move forward is to focus on the present right now. Be conscious of your choices and mindful of your actions. Worrying about the future or dwelling in the past keeps us stuck.

Find some quiet time to just sit and meditate, write down your thoughts, or take a walk outside. All things done with focused attention and observation is a form of meditation.

Brainstorm

Mindmap all of the goals that you’re passionate about achieving and how they relate to your interests. Then sort them out in order of preference. My top five goals ended up being “financial freedom, becoming a digital nomad, being a creative director of my own boutique design agency, writing bestseller erotica books and doing social outreach projects for kids in slum communities.”

At the heart of this mesh of goals lie my interests in writing, creativity, design, travel, social change, and my desire for freedom. Now I know what my focus should be. If I achieve even one or two of those things, it is a step in the right direction.

Get Help

Sometimes, listening to a friend or hiring a coach is the right thing to do if you’re feeling stuck and need to take a step back. Observation from an external source could give you valuable advice that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to see on your own. Just don’t rely on others to do all the work for you. A coach is there to help you come up with the breakthroughs and guide you to the process. It’s still you, yourself, who will need to go through it and do the work.

Remember, you don’t have to pick ONE thing and do it. Design your life or business with an overarching theme and do that with laser-like focus. Find creative ways to market that utilize your creative skills and quirky passions. Show people the personable side of who you are to connect with your audience.

Your Turn

Have you faced analysis paralysis? What have you done to take the steps towards more clarity?

janet_aboutJanet Brent is an intuitive graphic/web designer for creative, holistic and heart-based entrepreneurs. She’s interested in passionate people making positive change. Find her blogging on Purple Panda and on twitter @janetbrent.

9 Comments

  1. cotey bucket says:

    Great stuff Janet.
    It feels like your talking directly to me. Actually that first paragraph could have almost been written by me. Except the self employed part. So I quit my job (two weeks to go) to find the focus and harness the laser. Here’s hoping it kicks in before the runway disappears.

    Oh hey! Now that I’m thinking about it. Are there any life coaching programs in Portland that you would recommend?

    • Janet Brent says:

      Thanks Cotey. You’ll get there (self-employed) if that’s where you want to go. :) Congrats on quitting your job and taking on the adventure! Interesting blog you’ve got. Not sure about coaching programs in Portland but I know Emilie is there, and me, for a couple months any way.

  2. Zsolt says:

    Great post Janet!

    “ideas bouncing around in my head” – I often have difficulties falling asleep because of this… the only thing that helps sometimes is writing them down.

    I’ve recently quit facebook and it’s made such a huge difference. I waste less time and feel like I have more mental space. Not to mention that I spend more time with people who matter now.

    Best of luck with all your projects :)

    • Janet says:

      ah, yes. difficulties sleeping because of all the ideas.. i don’t know whether this is a good or bad thing. on one hand, it’s really exciting but on the other, a girl’s got to get some sleep!

      Kudos to you for quitting facebook. I don’t think I could do it!

  3. Zsolt says:

    “ideas bouncing around in my head” – I often have difficulties falling asleep because of this… the only thing that helps sometimes is writing them down.

    I’ve recently quit facebook and it’s made such a huge difference. I waste less time and feel like I have more mental space. Not to mention that I spend more time with people who matter now.

    Best of luck with all your projects :)

  4. Kristian Altuve says:

    This is my first read on this website and I am already looking forward to reading the rest of the posts! Janet you nailed it right on the spot. My eyes have opened and can see all the unnecessary distractions in my life. thank you!

    • Janet says:

      Hi Kristian,
      Welcome to Puttylike! Hope you’ll stick around and enjoy the upcoming posts. ;) You can also poke around the archives. There’s a plethora of great content here. Glad to help you on your journey.
      Best,
      Janet

  5. kara rane says:

    Love Being in Nature.. where multipotentialities bring You closer to the Sun!

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