Plinky.com asked me how I stay focused.
In the very best sense of the term, I have a wandering mind. Since I was a young child, I’ve grabbed little bits of information here and there, knitting them together into my own jigsaw that explains the world.
This is where I find story and song, lyric and verse – it’s where my career in organization capability developed. All of it about understanding why people are the way they are and why they do what they do. All of it the development of narrative – and through that narrative, connection to others to improve the world.
I share this because it really does lead to me spinning a lot
of plates – something I’ve done throughout my conscious memories. My four main activities are enjoying my family, music (both on my own and with my Monkey68 band-mates), writing and running my own consulting business.
If you follow me at http://VinceT.net
[thank you – you have my love]
you’ll have heard some of this before, including the current state of my writing – publishing my new novel, Family Rules, as well as my first ever poetry collection, Garbled Glittering Glamours – as well as my recent successful solo show in New London, CT (first time on this side of the pond). A set of new songs are arriving with me at the moment, slightly different direction but still idiosyncratically me.
Always lots going on.
So how do I stay focused?
I think that’s the wrong question. I couldn’t have written 7 books, recorded 70+ songs, raised two beautiful daughters
[and a new puppy]
built a successful career without the ability to focus – I’ve always been able to do that in any given moment – something in my brain chemistry that can just shut down the non-important stuff. I’m also lucky to have built near live-time processing capability – I write live and only edit for accuracy. I record very quickly and then move on.
Getting what I’m doing done.
That’s just how I’ve always been. Socially, it’s why I don’t do small-talk, because I’m usually focusing on something and can’t spare the mental band-width for inconsequential effort.
[though if you really want to talk to me, I’ll turn my focus towards you and put the other stuff on hold]
I don’t do goals. I don’t do short-term deliverables. I don’t do ‘to do’ lists. I just know what I want to have achieved in the end, then I let the work talk to me – a song emerging in a dream, the guitar calling to me from the studio, my voice speaking in my head a new poem or the “I wonder what would happen if…” that signifies a new story.
Like spinning plates I just have to watch for what’s about to fall and give it a little attention.
I’m sure there are many who would decry this as an inefficient way of being, however most people who talk to me of focus don’t seem to be getting a lot done, whereas I am.
When those conversations occur, it’s nearly always the “I would… if only…” procrastination that underlies the focus upon… well… focus.
And there’s only one response to procrastination – just do something, anything, any little thing – one step and then the next gets you where you’re going. No steps gets you nowhere.
So, how do I stay focused? I just keep on taking steps. Getting what I’m doing done.