“I Can See Clearly Now”: Finding Focus For Your Work!

This article appeared in the October 2005 issue of Spirited Solutions’ E-Newsletter.

Remember the lyrics to the old song, “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone”? Sometimes life floods us with so many emails, memos, voicemails, etc. that we lose sight of our purpose. In this technologically inundated world, it’s easy for your mind to become like a cluttered desk where you can’t find anything!

What are the major symptoms of lack of focus?
1) Feeling restless, dissatisfied, and/or scattered.
2) Working hard but accomplishing little.
3) Trying to get too much done in too little time.
4) Losing your enthusiasm for a project or your work/life in general.
5) Not knowing what on earth to do next!

Is your vision out of focus? Can you concentrate, or is your “focal length” in need of adjustment?

Here’s what we suggest.

Suffering from symptom #1? Create a mission statement for your work, one sentence that encompasses your purpose. Mine, for example, is “I, Barnsley, help people create lives and work they love!” Then cut out all activities that don’t relate to your mission! Preserve your energy for what is truly important to you!

Symptom #2 or #3? Use that mission statement to prioritize tasks, earmarking your most productive time of day to grapple with challenging projects and your least productive time for mundane tasks. If you don’t know what times are most or least productive for you, log what you do for a couple of days. Note when you feel tired, stressed, discouraged, etc. Those times are good for checking mail, not writing the annual review.

Lost your enthusiasm? Remind yourself of why you’re here. Construct a life mission statement about your life’s purpose. Something like, “I am here to spread Divine love and peace by being a great parent to my children, spouse to my beloved, and friend to humanity and the environment.” Notice where your life mission and your work mission intersect. When you see that they are intimately connected, you will feel motivated!

Finally, if you don’t know what to do next, SLOW DOWN! Shut the door, cut off the computer, turn the ringer off. Sit still and clear your mind by focusing on a word (like “peace”), a phrase (“Let go and let God”), or a calming color or image, such as the bright blue of the Mediterranean Sea. When you feel relaxed, ask, “What do I need to do next?” and listen to what springs to mind. If nothing comes, take a break and then return. Sometimes we need to move away from an issue or problem before we can zoom in on it.

Your focus is just that—YOURS! Don’t let anyone else dictate it to you. Let yourself
(re) discover it. Then you will be able to see clearly whether it’s raining or not, even in the midst of the most tumultuous storms life sends your way.

“If we have our own ‘why’ of life, we can bear almost any ‘how.’” —Friedrich Nietzsche