Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Maintaining focus over the festive period

I love the festive period. Spending time with family, eating nice food and taking some time off from work can be great. Unfortunately though this usually means i'm less productive and that makes me, for want of a better way of putting it, twitchy. I have what most people who create have, a sort of voice inside you that won't let you rest. It constantly wants you to be creating and putting stuff out there. If you aren't it can get quite insistent and make you aggravated, disagreeable and just generally not a great person to be around. What that little voice doesn't understand is that you have to take down-time to be productive at other points, and the festive period is the perfect excuse. Its made even more so by the close proximity to new year's.

New year for me is a time to set objectives, think about the year ahead and try to decide on ways to tackle some of the year's problems. If i'm knee deep in actually doing project stuff, I can find it really difficult to do this kind of big picture thinking. I just want to work on what i'm working on. Taking a break from this project work lets my brain have that little bit o' space it needs to step back and think about what it wants to do. This year i've decided to try to tighten up my general daily routine. I had let my daily habits slip a bit over the last year and I wasn't happy with that. Its okay, i'm not going to beat myself up about it, because I was doing other things but now I want to work on them again. I also want to do some DIY stuff round the house, particularly in the summer,  and I want to try to spend a bit more time with my family. Obviously I want to keep making music and grow my youtube channel but these goals are not mutually exclusive to any others I might have. I just have to figure out how to spend less time in a mindless state and be aware of it. Mindless entertainment is like drugs. Your brain reacts in the same way it would to a hit, and it can be equally as difficult to break the habit. Purposeful planning and goals can help, alongside mindfulness training. Another trick i've found is to tell other people about what i'm doing. This works great with planning to spend time with family. If I tell me little girl that we will play a board game in half an hour, she will expect me to be ready to play in exactly half an hour (She's very precise with timekeeping). The thought of letting her down is enough to make me actually stick to the plan rather than if i'd simply thought to myself that I would play a board game with her at some point. Making the commitment, with a negative result if I don't follow through, forces me to do the right thing with regards to my plans and goals.

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