How to Get Back on Track When Your Focus Starts to Shift
Over the course of the past few months, my quantity (and even quality) of writing has significantly plummeted. That, in turn, has yielded quite a noticeable impact on the amount of additional income that I’ve been making here on Medium.
Thankfully, I don’t rely on Medium (or writing in general) as my primary source of income for my means of survival. If it were, I can assure you that I’d probably be homeless by now.
The point is, I’m fully aware of the reasoning behind my downward spiral — It’s because my focus has shifted and my priorities have changed.
Though I can no longer drag out the excuse of marathon training, I can say that it definitely played a part.
So, what’s my new excuse now, you might ask? Well, ironically, it’s not an excuse at all — It’s a legitimate responsibility which happens to be my actual full-time job.
I wrote an article a little while back called, “Before You Quit, Just Remember This One Thing” and to this day, it still stands as my top performing article on this platform.
Before You Quit, Just Remember This One Thing
I wouldn't call myself a quitter, but I would say that I do have a tendency to get very easily discouraged in the early…
Reading it again, I can distinctly remember exactly how I was feeling when I wrote it.
I remember what was going on in my head and what was going on in my life and it’s completely opposite from what’s going on in present day for me.
The funny thing is, as I’m comparing the “now and then”, I can clearly see why that article trended the way that it did versus the articles that I’ve been writing in the past few months.
It’s because I was pouring my heart, soul, and most importantly, my time, into writing because I wasn’t in a great place with my job.
That being said, although my work suffered, my writing prevailed. Now that I am pouring my time and effort into work, my writing is beginning to suffer.
It’s a simple notion of cause and effect.
Of course, I can complain all day until my throat is dry, but the truth of the matter is, I chose where I placed my time and that’s completely on me, therefore, I just have to accept the consequences.
And that’s the thing about sacrifice — You can’t quite gain unless you lose. An odd concept, right?
So, how do you get back on track when your focus starts to shift?
Well, here are a few things you can (and probably should) do.
Block out time specifically devoted to your extracurriculars each week.
We may not be Beyoncé, but we do have the same amount of hours in the day as her.
Ask yourself, where are your areas of downtime when you can be doing the things that you say you’ll be doing instead of actually doing?
What to Do When You Have to “Force” Yourself to Write
As the Nike slogan says, “Just do it”
Find those pockets of time, whether it be early in the morning, late at night, or even during lunchtime. Then, dedicate that time towards the things that you claim you “don’t have time for.”
Stop sleeping in on the weekends.
One of the things that helped me most in terms of scaling up on my writing, as well as running when I was marathon training, was taking advantage of my weekends.
Though many may see the weekends as a time to either be completely lazy after a long week or blow off steam by going out, I saw my weekends as an opportunity to make the most out of the hours that I didn’t have during the week.
Instead of sleeping in on the weekends, wake up early and do what you have to do. I can guarantee that you will not regret it and you’ll accomplish far more than you thought you could.
Give yourself a break once in a while.
We all get overwhelmed, overworked, and exhausted in life, which is why it’s okay to take a break sometimes. If you find yourself reaching a plateau or hitting a wall, sometimes it’s just best to relax and reboot.
When You Need to Take a Break From Everything
I've been on somewhat of a downward spiral in terms of maintaining my eagerness to write.
Losing your focus is not a permanent thing. It just means that you may be spreading yourself a bit too thin.
If you find yourself losing your focus on the things that you want to do in life, don’t panic. It can and will come back to you. Like anything in life, it just takes time.
So, just remember that you need to make time, and also give some of that time back to yourself at the end of the day. Your focus will come back and your time and effort will pay off.