This week there has been so much going on, and I will be honest and say that my brain has been filled with jobs, post-production, meetings, ideas and life away from photography. It’s been hard to focus my brain on just one thing especially the blog! Even now I am sat here being distracted from writing by messages about a job tomorrow and emails from clients wanting to book in pre-production calls. So ironically this blog post is about some simple things that I do to try and stay focused! Hang on there’s the phone….
Sorry about that! Interestingly though it does segway nicely into my first tip on staying focused…
This is really about getting rid of distractions! Let’s face it, it’s so easy to get distracted by the buzz of our phones nowadays. It’s everything in one place! Messages, emails, social media and so much more. These clever, little technological rectangles, that we all carry around with us, have become integral to our very existence it seems. Try switching your phone to Aeroplane mode! It’s a simple trick but by giving myself some time in aeroplane mode or even better putting the phone away completely ‘out of sight and out of mind’, it allows me to focus on whatever the specific task is that I need to do.
The next tip that helps me stay focused is…
Planning and making lists!
I make a lot of lists! I have lists and notebooks everywhere and, to most, it would look like chaos but it all makes sense to me, well… most of the time. It may not work for a lot of creatives, who might be a little less organised, but it’s something that works for me as I am pretty sure I have ‘mild’ OCD, but that’s yet to be diagnosed haha!
It could be a list of goals for the year or a simple plan for things that need to be done in a day, but for me, seeing the list and being able to cross things off when they’re done is strangely satisfying and keeps me productive. It can also help me prioritise things into an order of importance. While we’re on the subject of prioritising, I tend to use a technique, that someone a long time ago told me about called ‘Eat the frog’! I think it’s a business book but don’t quote me on that. The basic idea is that if you do the worst thing on your plate first thing in the morning, the rest of the day is a piece of cake!
Number 3 on my random list of ways to stay focused…
Tidy house = tidy mind!
They say creative brains are rarely tidy and my creative brain is no different. There are always so many ideas and images going around in my mind. To try and balance out the untidy nature of my brain, I always try and keep my workspace as tidy and uncluttered as I can. I have two desks in my office. One is my ‘Digital desk’ and the other is, what I call, my ‘Analogue desk’. Put simply my digital desk is where I do editing, post-production, emails, accounts etc (digital ‘stuff’) and the Analogue desk is for non-digital ‘stuff’. The Analogue desk has sketchbooks, paper, pens and pencils and that’s it! This is where I try and make time to draw or write to create, develop and focus on ideas. Something about separating the two desks helps me separate my tasks. One desk being more for creative and the other being for more logical or admin based tasks. In some ways similar to how our brains work. The right side controlling more of our imagination and creativity and the left taking care of the more logic and reasoning side of things.
The final piece of advice I have is…
Take a break!
That’s right! You heard me! Take a break!
If you burn yourself out, you won’t be fully focused or inspired about much at all. I’m sure we can all relate to feeling like this at some point, but I’m here to tell you that it’s ok to take a break because, in the long run, you will get more done! Now please don’t read this and think I am sitting around with my feet up all day having lots of breaks, far from it! What I am saying is that even 15 minutes out of your day doing something, anything that helps you relax and that is just for you can work wonders for your focus on the other jobs you might have on your lists when you go back to them. It doesn’t matter what that thing is; going for a walk or the gym, listening to music, meditating, reading a book, cooking? Anything as long as it floats your boat! Just do it!
A bit of a random one this week! I’m sure there are loads of other things that I do to try and stay focused but I am not writing a self-help blog or trying to be Life Coach or anything haha! I just thought I would share a few that I use or ‘focus’ on (excuse the pun… terrible!).
Anyway, I am off to meditate while taking a walk, listening to music and reading a book all simultaneously! That should help me focus and blog about something a little more photography related next week. I will write a list of topics haha!
Have a great week and thanks for reading!