Where did the time go? Societal pressures and the need for time and focus management
By Tiana Allen
Everyone gets distracted at some point. Now-a-days, it’s hard not to be. With work, family, friends, the need to have “multiple streams of income” and other priorities, it can be difficult to stay on task when you are busy juggling so much. Selfcare seems unattainable, and when there seems to be a small gap in time that you can have for yourself, it’s gone within a blink of an eye. With the expeditious movement of humans in today’s “quick and easy,” it’s become normalized to ask where did the time go?
The fact of the matter is, the world is happening regardless of what time the clock says. Moreover, all this fast paced everything tends to draw us to too many things at once and processing all of them is nearly impossible. Truth is, admitting that being unfocused is having a loss of power and this truth is hard for most to want to believe. Some people like to be in control, and if everything isn’t done the way they’d like to see it, it doesn’t seem right. This constitutes for perfectionism, which might lead to anxiety, panic, and even mood swings. Ultimately, your tasks are left incomplete, you feel overwhelmed and giving up on something you once deemed a priority, now seems like the best solution. But before you choose this route there are other avenues you can take, here are some, healthy options you’d might consider to help you stay focused and manage your time.
Check your gut: If you find yourself being forgetful way more than average, then it’s highly recommended to try this: Cleanse your Liver! A vital function of the liver is to neutralize and eliminate toxins in the body that might be harmful for you. For healthy livers, if not properly cleansed, it might not be able to filter out unhealthy toxins that can build up in your blood stream. This can lead to lower energy levels, muscle spasms and even brain fog. Try doing a full body detox (either a pill regimen or juicing) that focuses on liver, spleen, colon and kidneys. While doing this, be sure to amp up my water intake, and focus on eating “Liver friendly” foods like vegetables that are Green and Orange in color. Not only can cleaning your liver assist in boosting your immunity, it can also help you focus way more than you know.
Learn Healthy Multitasking: It is possible to multitask, but it’s all in how we think. Your brain is divided into two hemispheres called the left and right brain. The left-brain processes words while the right-brain processes images. Naturally, we respond to the imagery in our right brain quicker than we process left brained words. But it should be the opposite and it’s important to learn active listening. I’ll take it a step further and say, “active self-listening.” Processing words helps to filter out negative self-talk, intrusive thoughts or even ill-intentioned words from others. It also helps us to get a clearer auditory view of the priorities in our left brain so our right brain can create a focal point that envisions them being done. This way, you can stay in one solid mental frame of reference without getting too distracted.
The “Why” Principle: In a society full of overly busy professionals, understand that every idea does not have to be pursued. We are in an age of social media where everyone shares what they’re doing daily, and “ideas” and “inspiration” are passed around like glitter waiting for you to catch it and glue it to your vision board. But listen, you do not have to feel compelled to copy or compete with every idea you see. If you are feeling overwhelmed by tasks, assignments, life experiences, etc. take a moment, step back and “always go back to your WHY.” Why are you doing this? What is my motivation? What is my intention? What is my purpose? Does this feel right to do? Does this bring me joy? If so, why? Is this joy permanent or temporary? Prioritize everything you do based off this “why” principle. When you ask yourself these questions, most likely you will answer them correctly.
Identify your Supporters: Sometimes you just need to ask for help, other times you just need someone to root for you. Trying to do and figure everything out by yourself does not help at all with time management. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to delegate tasks to others or let go of some of the reigns of control can reduce tons of pressure. But how does one identify their supporters enough to feel comfortable with this? There’s nothing worse than having toxic people that don’t support your purpose around you. The people who are rooting for you are the ones who are there for you during tough times. It could be as simple as a phone call, text message or even a friend stepping up to the plate to assist you with a task. Ultimately, discerning who is on your “team” can seem tough, but it is easier than having to learn the hard way.
Limit Social Media Scrolling. Take a Walk Outdoors, Read a Book or Watch Educational Programming: This step might be a tough one for some. Social media can be addictive, but it is possible to start the process of minimizing your scrolling. Substituting the time you'd normally spend watching Youtube, making videos on Tic Tock or checking your following on Instagram with healthier choices like taking a walk outdoors, reading a book, or watching educational programming might give your brain enough capacity to utilize both right and left hemispheres. Having some fresh air can also encourage broader thinking, a change in scenery, a chance to communicate and have interactions with others and even challenge your critical thinking skills. If limiting social media seems to hard to get the hang of, then try creating a progressive approach. You can test yourself with only opening the apps during a certain frame of time per day, you can also fill your feed with pages that offer positive, insightful education and imagery and unfollow those that don't. Try this for at least 1 week and compare your productivity levels from the previous week. If you find you are more focused and overwhelmed in some areas, then congratulations, you have formed a new, healthier habit.
Create a Focus Plan®/Task List: There are dozens of apps for task lists you can download. The notepad on your phone is also a helpful tool, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, there’s nothing like good ole fashioned pen and paper. Write down what you need done for the day and check them off as they are completed. Then, list your priorities, distractions, roadblocks, setbacks and solutions to these tasks. Pace yourself. Journaling is another way to create a focus plan®. Sometimes writing out your day can help you remember some very important things you might have missed or the things you aspire to get done. Journaling also helps you explore your feelings thus understanding your thought patterns.
Ready, Set, Focus!