Focus and prioritising your creative goals

I have never felt as unsettled and uncertain as now. Over the past month my emotions have been unpredictable, approaching like a wave. One morning, I wake up relaxed and calm without a care in the world. Then, the following day I have feelings of anxiety from a lack of knowledge about what comes next.

I am excited about what the future might hold and the positive changes that I’m sure will happen as a result. I often say I love change and as a result what we are all going through feels like a test. Am I happy to jump in with both feet? What personal changes am I prepared to make? What are the processes that will help me to be open to possibility? How can I support others to come through tough times? How can we all support each other more? There are so many questions, popping up in my head, all the time.

Why is focus important?
People have told me they are struggling with focus at the moment and so it is something I wanted to explore. At times like this it is more important than ever to focus and understand ourselves. I am not saying it will be easy; I am finding it hard. Sometimes when things are not easy to think about it is a sign that we should push ourselves to understand them. Though, having said that, if you don’t feel you have got the energy now, come back to this when you feel ready.

It is easy to keep doing more, saying yes to everything and then finding yourself frazzled. You might even feel you are going backwards or solving everyone else’s problems but not your own. If you are the sort of person who has lots of ideas, if you do not find ways to focus, you are likely to feel stuck.

As you work out what is important and focus on activities to achieve your plans you will move closer to your goals. This often means you have to make some tough decisions and give things up. When you find you have got less to do and more space to think the positives start appearing.

Below I have described three things that I find help me to focus. Pick one or two that you like the sound of and give them a go. Let me know if they work for you.

Working out your priorities
The first thing you need to do to move towards getting some focus in your life is to understand your priorities.

I use an exercise called Big Rocks… download this worksheet to try it. I do it whenever I am feeling unclear about my priorities and find it helps me to work out what is important.

Start saying NO
Once you have got your priorities clear in your head, try this simple idea. I am an expert at saying YES to everything, and so I know that it can feel like you are being selfish to say NO. It is an interesting experiment. If you are up for this, I challenge you to start saying NO before you say YES to anything new that comes up. It is hard at first but gets a bit addictive once you get good at it. Beware, if you like helping people as I do, you will fall of the wagon at some point, but the theory is a good one.

Find space to think and get to know yourself
The thing I find most helpful now is to find space to keep thinking to explore my ideas and plans further.

Nothing stands still and so it’s important for artists and creatives to find our own ways to create space to think. There are loads of ways to do this. These are a few of the things that work for me, I’m sure you have your own:

  • Get outdoors – I love walking, mountain biking and canoeing.
  • Make things – this is when I am in my zone; food, cheese, crazy papier mâché masks, anything!
  • Read, though I’ve been a bit rubbish at that this year.
  • Find a coach or mentor (Contact me for a free 30-minute Discovery Call to discuss your needs).
  • Join a creative or small business collective or network.
  • Do yoga or mediate.


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