Transitions, Part Two: Refocusing
On the occasion of transitioning from my over-busy launch prep to the more mundane work of marketing, part of my lack of focus was due to not knowing specifically what steps to take next and how to go about doing those steps. I had a long list of things to do, such as engaging more with social media, but by not being specific, it just felt like an amorphous cloud of unlimited work hanging over my head. It dragged me down.
I find that when I feel discouraged, disinterested in things that normally excite me, and just “blah,” that staying with the uncomfortable feelings rather than just trying to blot them out, makes room for something useful to emerge.
Staying with it can include:
- noticing what is going on and how I’m feeling as a result, and then,
- talking it over with a friend or mentor, and/or,
- writing or journaling.
Journaling has always been a way for me to look deeper into what’s behind the uncomfortable feelings. I start this process by writing what I’m feeling and letting it evolve into stream of consciousness writing without censoring what comes into my head and out my fingers. When the writing slows, I ask questions and sometimes I “talk back”, challenging myself. I find that often writing the words “I don’t know what to do”, or “I don’t know what I want” or “I don’t know…”, clears the way for words and ideas to flow.
Gaining clarity is important before stepping into the next phase. The fuzzy big picture comes easily to me, but it’s hard to take action on nebulous ideas. Clarifying my intentions, visualizing my goal in concrete pictures and getting specific on just what the goal will look like helps me see how the various steps can be broken down. This clarifies my next actions.
What came out of the process in this case was a way to go about my daily planning. Now, before I go to bed I plan my activities for the following day. This includes things I must do as well as things I’d like to get done, but which could be postponed without detriment. The list is often very long. The following morning, first thing, I sit at my desk, quiet my mind and then ask myself which activities I would do well to prioritize. That process gives me a sense of which actions those are, and sometimes I get ideas for other things as well. In this way, my days have become purposeful again.