I consistently ask myself, “Why am I so dizzy?” Of course I know the reason. It Is because “I am so busy.” This morning as my mind was racing (no, I do not have ADHD) I forced myself to sit down and think about the stages of my life. I thought back on my twenties, thirties, forties and on and I finally lived into my answer. My lifestyle is much grander now that I am over 50 years old. Being organized has little to do with being a focused woman. It is with this revelation I decided to devote time to devise a plan to stay focused and organized during this passage of my life. What better time to seize the moment and organize and focus than the beginning of fall?
Organize and focus
When I was young, my husband and I were raising two daughters. Now I am a grandmother sharing my time between 25 grandchildren who live in five different states! As a young woman, my parents worried about me. Now I spend my time doing and worrying about my mother. As a younger woman my husband left our home for work; now, my semi- retired husband wants me to be with him ‘day and night.’ And that is just for starters.
It is now 12:29 pm. I have a blog that was due to my editor at 11:00 am! The one I am writing now.
What happened to hinder me?
At 7:00 am I fed Orchid. At 7:30 am I took her for a walk. At 7:45 am I put her into the car to drive her 30 minutes to physical therapy. While she was in her session my plan was to quietly sit outside in the waiting room and finish my blog.
The phone rang.
It was an unexpected business call. I should have stay focused on my goal. Instead, I talked for the entire hour. My blog was not completed.
“Ok,” I say to Orchid on the drive home, “I will sit down the minute I walk into our apartment and focus on my blog.”
I arrive home to hear my darling semi-retired husband say, “I waited for you to have breakfast. I want to us to be together.”
“OMG,” I say to myself, “I am going to have a nervous breakdown.”
Instead, I say, “How loving of you to wait for me.”
These types of situations are very distracting, and I’m just a girl who can’t say no!
But it is more than that. Staying on track is very hard for me.
Every day of the week I write down my engagements in my day planner and on my apple calendar. I am organized. My biggest problem: staying focused. I manage getting caught up in life’s unexpected situations. What good are my organized planner and my computer calendar if I don’t follow through; constantly allowing myself to get sidetracked.
The answer: Life without organization and discipline is havoc.
I think the foremost skill to an organized lifestyle is to be able to focus
The problem: I WAS NEVER TAUGHT TO FOCUS…AND I DON’T THINK YOU WERE EITHER.
I can’t remember being taught this skill in school. It should have been. I think that odd since we all spent a minimum of twelve years in school attaining knowledge. Did our teachers just assume we would figure out how to focus on our studies? Focusing is a skill.
Now that we are over 50 how can we discipline ourselves to focus and avoid distractions?
1. Choose an important goal. What is personally important? What is your goal? Do you want to be the organizer of the weekly card game? Do you want to be in charge of the family trips? Do you want to write a book? Do you want to redecorate your home?
2. Avoid chaos. You cannot be focused if your mind is scattered on many topics. Look at your day planner list. If you have too many tasks you cannot focus on your goal. Prioritize and redo the list putting the most important goal at the top. You do not want to feel rushed.
3. Accomplish your task in the early AM. You are at your best in the early part of the day. Get up, do your routines; a workout, breakfast and then focus on your most important goal. If you wait until later, distractions will arise and drain you and you will not be able to focus.
4. Organize your goal in steps. Goals are not accomplished in a day. Sit down and make a plan. Start small. Don’t look at the big picture. You will go back to chaos and will not be able to focus.
5. Self- control. You become distracted. This is my problem. My mind starts going over non-essential thoughts that can be taken care of later. I am going to attempt to change two of my lifestyle habits. I will use my dedicated work station. I often do my writing in three different rooms in our home. This is not focus orientated. I think dedicating oneself to a specific work-place forces you to be grounded and calm permitting you to focus on your immediate task.
6. Enjoy being focused and organized. Enjoy the time you block out. Be proud of your self-discipline. Love your motivation. Now you can enjoy this passage of your life.
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If you have something to say about organization and focus, let’s talk! I want so much to hear your opinions + feelings. I also want you to speak up so that women our age remain visible. I think we have a responsibility to share our wisdom, don’t you? Share yours either in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.