An interesting question for someone who fluctuates between the upbeat, confident and “kick-ass”, get things done mentality, and the gloomy, depressed, couldn’t-give-a-damn mode. Depression is unpredictable and strikes at random so unless you have Plan B waiting in the wings it can catch you unawares when “focus” is not in your vocabulary.
In good times focus comes naturally. I am an inquisitive, energetic, interested, passionate, fun, devoted, loving employee, wife and mother. Jobs get done effortlessly, birthdays and Christmas are remembered, holidays are booked way in advance and everything is in its place and under control. This is focus.
When depressed however things are very different. It’s hard work. There is no focus. You flit from thought to thought, task to task nothing finished, no conclusions, no plans, birthdays and Christmas overlooked. Friends and family are disappointed and you feel disillusioned and upset by the lack of progress.
How do I manage this periodic inability to concentrate? I plan,plan, plan. Then I plan some more.
During the bad times, my days are divided up religiously into sections. From the time I get up to the time I go to bed everything I do has a time limit and its own window of opportunity. There is no room for surprises or unplanned events. It is the only way to get through the day and get everything done. It requires discipline, advance thinking and lots of lists and timetables.
But it works for me.
This is what Patrick Lindsay has to say about Focus in his book, “Be Happy”
It’s so easy to dissipate our energies,
to dilute our creativity on too many tasks at once.
Virtuosos apply all their skill and energy
to one aim at a time.
Select your key tasks.
Concentrate on one at a time.
Marshall your skills.
Direct all your energies at your target.