My 2018 Theme is Focus
2017 was a whirlwind year for me. Beyond having a day job (although part time) and running this here blog (which is growing and taking more of my time – good thing!), I also had two little kiddos running around the house and a million other small things clipping at my time each day.
Some days I felt like I would drop the kids off at day care and fall into a pit of ants — each ant biting off a chunk of my time here and there until I look up, it’s 4pm, and I crossed almost nothing of significance off my to-do list. In other words, I’m not exactly a pinnacle example of good work-from-home practices.
So, rather than set goals for the new year, I thought I’d try something different this year.
Instead, I’m opting to make one large theme for all of 2018. That theme is FOCUS.
Focus is Lost in My Life
This is hard to admit but I’ve found that I have a hard time focusing on a single task. With 20 tabs open in my browser, dings coming into my phone, emails constantly flowing, and a million small tasks floating in my mind, it has become incredibly hard for me to just focus.
I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way in our new modern working world. We now live in a HEY-LOOK-OVER-THERE culture and I don’t love it.
So, this year, I’m working to constantly focus on the thing in front of me, be it a photography project, a work deadline, or a smiling child.
I will slow down, work better, and hopefully get more done.
A Few Focus Keys
This is going to be an ongoing project for me this year and I’m already finding myself being more intentional with things just because I’ve set this theme for the year. But, here are a few concrete things I’m trying to do this year.
Block Process Email – Email is a constant drag on my productivity. I’ve really grown to dislike it, but I know it’s a necessary in our world. Instead of trying to respond to each email instantly, I’m moving to a system of block processing email. A few times a day I will read and clear out my email all at once and pretty much ignore it the rest of the day. There are plenty of other ways people can contact me if there’s something urgent.
One Non-Fiction Book a Month – In an effort to improve my ability to focus, I’m setting a goal to read one non-fiction book a month. I mostly like fiction books so this will be a bit of a stretch for me and I think force me to focus on a larger topic. This is gonna be a tough one for me. If anybody has any great non-fiction books to recommend, leave a comment!
Phone Free Kiddos – This will also be a tough one, but Betsy and I are desperately trying to move away from our phones when the kids are around. I feel like I can enjoy time with them more when the thing in my pocket isn’t constantly buzzing and yipping at me.
Big Project Time – I got this idea from Tim Ferriss, but basically I’m going to set aside 1-2 hours (hopefully 2) each week that I will close everything and brainstorm a big project. I’m not sure what this big project will even be just yet. That’s the fun part!
Scene Changes – This might not apply to everyone, especially if you work in an office, but I get into a serious funk if I just around my house all week. Even if I’m super busy, by the end of the week I feel like a ghost. At least once a week, I’m forcing myself to get out of my house and work somewhere new. This might end up syncing up with my Big Project Time idea.
What do you do to help Focus?
I think in our constantly shifting world, everyone struggles with focusing, even if they don’t admit it. If you have any tips or tricks you use to help focus, leave a comment!
Here’s to a great, FOCUSED, 2018 everybody!