A sneak view behind the scenes about how I stay focused and balanced. When I know that tomorrow will be a busy day I plan my day pretty tight. I focus on one task for one hour and then take a 15 minutes break. Yes, I set my alarm for it and no, I don’t read my emails until the end of the day.
Stay focused and balanced
When we are focused on a particular task, we can easily get carried away. For me, that’s when I am being creative with Canva making visuals. If I don’t pay attention, I can go on playing forever. Although I use Canva for my marketing, I see it as playing. So when my alarm goes off after one hour, I stop.
The challenge here is not to “finish this one real quickly” because we all know where that leads to. If I am not finished, I leave the tab open and continu after my 15 minutes break. If I am finished, I close the program, which saves automatically.
The balanced part lies in the break. When being behind the computer for an hour, I move during my break. Sometimes I do some household chores, practice yoga or meditate. If you can manage to do this multiple times during the day, you will find that you a very productive and still feel relaxed.
How do you define your self-talks?
I tell myself that cleaning is very relaxing. I used to tell myself that I hate household chores but that turned out to be very disempowering because my house got very dirty. So I changed my words which changed my emotions which gave cleaning a totally different meaning. Using words are so powerful. So be careful what you tell yourself.
Do you think that you can’t meditate? I told myself this for 30 years. Throughout these years many people advised me to start meditating. I always said that I am too busy in my head. Duh? That’s why you need meditation. The busier the mind, the longer you should meditate. So I changed my words. Now I tell myself that meditation is self-care.
The same with yoga. Yoga was for gurus or softies. When I met a man who said he practiced yoga (most of the time combined with drinking tea) I instantly turned him down. Real men don’t do that. They drive motorcycles, have tattoos and work with their hands, right? Now I would love to find a man who wants to teach me about yoga and drink tea with me.
Most productive days ever
When I plan my days like this – focused and balanced – these days turn out to be the most productive. And it doesn’t have to be like that every day! Some days I only set alarms because of appointments and meetings. Some days I never set an alarm. You don’t have to be so rigid about it. Because balanced also means that some days you just go with the flow.
When writing a blog like this, I need to have some inspiration. If there is none, I let it go. Sometimes I write multiple articles a day, sometimes none for weeks. Staying focused and balanced is not so much about what you do but more about when you do it.
Focused means I do one thing. Don’t let myself be distracted. Read that again. “I don’t let myself be distracted”. We tend to blame others for distracting us but don’t play the victim here. Since I don’t have any notification on my phone or laptop I don’t have to turn them off either.
“Easy for you to say”
This is what I hear often. I don’t have a family and I am self employed. That’s all true. But realize that the moment you hear yourself saying these five words, you are already in victim-mode. Remember: you always have a choice and you don’t have to copy me. Be yourself.
Your focus could be home schooling your children and your balance could be having coffee with a friend. Or having breakfast with the family could be your focus and singing during your ride to the office your balance. Be creative.
You can give your own meaning to the words focused and balanced. Even when you are in your ‘balanced’ mode you are focused. So choose your own definition and play with it. What counts is that at the end of the day you feel fulfilled. Not exhausted.