How do I stay focussed?

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.
Avoid distractions.
Marshall your skills.
Direct all your energies at your target.


3 thoughts on “How do I stay focussed?

  1. Thanks once again. Your being here each day is inspiring. Here, for the WP challenge. But more importantly, just *here*.

    Every word resonates with me. And your poetry doubly so.

    Have you always written poetry? Or is this a coping mechanism for you too? I know it is for me and I have a hundred in my head that may never see the light of day. But I write them there and read them back to myself often. Sometimes they help.

    Very sincerely,

    Thank you.

    • Hello- I’m glad you are feeling inspired. I love both your blogs but haven’t had time to comment today, and probably wont tomorrow either but I will do. Keep it up you are doing such a fantastic job.

      I only started to write again last May. I did a lot of writing at school, but have been very suppressed over the last 30 years whilst coping with my depression and keeping it a secret. That took all my energy and it wasn’t until I admitted to it last May that I have had a huge out-pouring of thoughts and feelings on paper. I feel like I’m being purged and it can be very tiring at times but I guess that 30 years is a long time to contain everything. I’m surprised I didn’t burst at the seams! I’m sure the flow will slow down eventually but 9 months on and it shows no sign of abating.

      You really should write your poems down-it is a beautiful medium and lovely to read over again. I’d love to see some of your poems if you can put them down on paper. XX

      Take care and I look forward to catching up with your posts soon.

      Thank you for your very kind comments-I appreciate them very much

  2. Thanks once again Caroline. Your being here is enough. I appreciate your thoughts, comments and the idea that you’re reading my blog. But just knowing your here helps in itself. You don’t have to read my blog and comment on everything. You have wonderful, inspirational words here. I can come here every day for your thoughts. And I do.

    Life’s too short as it is. A good friend can be silent for long stretches but that doesn’t make them less of a friend. You always know they are there.

    I’ll look forward to chatting with you any time you’re avaialble. But we could get into quite a time cruncher if you tried to answer all of my comments and blog posts as I did the same for you. A friendly way to lose oneself. But I’d like to think of you as smiling and with the time to do justice here.

    You’re helping people just by being here. You’re helping me.

    Thank you.

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