5 Things That Help Me Focus
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As a working from home mama, finding the time to focus on a project can be oh-so-difficult. But somewhere along the way, I started picking up a trick or two. With careful planning, I was able to carve out time to spend focused solely on work. Which in turn leaves more time for me to play, explore and adventure with Annie. I’m sharing a few things that help me focus in a pinch along with how I find the time to balance it all below!
Of course, I have to incorporate style somehow in this topic, right?! I’m a firm believer that what you wear can set the tone for whatever you’re doing. If I’m comfortable and feeling put together while I’m trying to cram in content creation + 50 emails in just one hour … you better believe I’m going to do that much of a better job! (It may be mental … but it certainly helps.) Sharing more on the topic below with these stylish ballet flats from revere Shoes today!
Don’t you just love all of the embroidered details on this green safari jacket? It’s a recent Ann Taylor find and it is so great for layering with jeans & tees or sundresses this spring. It’s also on sale right now too! Woot woot!
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First things first, let me tell you where this post is stemming from. When I was in Memphis earlier this month, I spent several mornings at local coffee shops cramming in hours of work while my mom was able to watch Annie. I definitely took advantage of having a grandparent around that week and it was so freeing! Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to be with Annie 24/7, but managing a blog full-time plus all of the other marketing freelance projects I do … it can be hard to balance both and give work my all without help.
Now that Annie is getting a bit older, her daytime naps are becoming more consistent and I’m able to plan around them and prepare for “crunch time” during them. I realized that no matter where I was, at home working from my kitchen table or at the coffee shop, my habits were the same when it was time to focus solely on work. And knowing you only have a few hours at best to get everything you need to do accomplished, any bit of making the experience as seamless as possible sounds good to me!
Five things that help me to stay motivated, organized and in the zone when I’m trying to fit focus:
While I love a good sundress or midi-skirt, I save those for the more carefree moments in life. My “let’s get down to business” uniform consists of my go-to-jeans, a knit top and usually a lightweight jacket or sweater depending on where I am. If I’m headed out of the house, I always pick the comfiest shoes in my closet. These ballet flats from revere Shoes are just that! They come with a removable footbed and also provide built-in-arch support. They are slip-resistant too which is great for when I’m toting around my toddler! While I do love my leggings & over-sized tees, I prefer those for the days when I’m just lounging about. I tend to find that I focus more when I’m a bit more put-together.
A To-Do List
Ever since I started my first job out of college, I’ve used big legal pads of paper to create my to-do lists. I always use the white ones with a black pen too. I’m not even an OCD type of person, this is just what works for me. The left side is anything work-related and the right side is anything life-related – (example, drop letter off at the post office). If I don’t write it down … I surely will forget it! And I update my lists sometimes even 2-3 times a day. Having it on paper close by as opposed to my computer or phone keeps it at the forefront at all times. (While keeping me on my toes too!)
I simply can not work in silence! Classical music of any kind puts me in the zone and keeps me there. It’s so funny, if I put on a song that has singing I instantly get lost in the lyrics and lose focus. My favorite playlists or the Gentle Classical, Celtic Classical and – of course- the Pride & Prejudice Soundtrack on Spotify.
Taking Advantage of the Time of Day I Work Best
I know that I am a morning person through and through. I feel more creative, inspired & determined in the mornings. And after spending a day with a toddler, sometimes my head feels too much like mush to write or really do anything after 6 pm! On days I know I have a lot to accomplish, I set my alarm hours before Annie wakes up to take advantage of this peak time.
An Organized Space
At the coffee shop, that means an organized tote bag with everything I could possibly need at hand. I love this “Influencer Tote” from Henri Bendel, it has so many compartments. I fill the inner zipper pocket with my camera memory cards. There’s a spot for my computer and notepads, even a spot for all of my chargers & hard drives. Depending on how much I’m carrying, I use a crossbody strap but most of the time I carry it with just the shoulder straps.
At home, I always work from the dining room table – even though we have a desk nearby. I love having a big space to spread out and stack papers or what have you nearby. Plus it has the best natural light in my house … and that’s another thing that helps me focus too!
What are your favorite tips and tricks to stay focused while you work?
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