My ability to focus has been lacking the past few days. The combination of having too many ideas/thoughts while feeling overwhelmed by my to-do list tends to make my concentration scramble for hills. Then when I don’t quiet my mind, it gets pretty damn loud up in there and I usually find myself staring blankly at my screen wondering what the heck to do. What about you?

After grabbing some chalk with the intention of writing my to-do list up on my wall, my focus failed to join me. While the act of writing a to-do list is simple, when one to-do makes your mind race with all the other related items, that feeling of being overwhelmed just grows and often you end up doing nothing.

So today I’m saying screw it to writing out a to-do list and starting with just one thing that first comes to mind when when I ask myself “what do I need to get done today?”. In my experience, this has a snow-ball effect and before I know it, I’m focused and getting shit done. That feeling of accomplishment turns into a natural high and suddenly that to-do list doesn’t seem so overwhelming anymore. Do you find this too?

Just One Thing

Sometimes you just have to start. You don’t always need an immediate plan or strategy to your process. Of course it helps but sometimes we get so caught up in the planning that we fail to start. We over-think. We over-research. We over-read the myriad of articles out there promising us that if we follow their steps, productivity and success will follow. Really, the only thing you have to do is start. The rest will naturally follow and figure itself out along the way.

What are you tackling today? And if you have any strategies for reigning in your focus when it’s gone AWOL, I’d love to hear all about it.

About Adele
I’m a brand strategist and designer helping entrepreneurs and small business owners bring their brand story to life through creative visual identities and strategically crafted digital experiences.

There are 4 comments so far.

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  • Hi Dellie,
    When I feel overwhelmed, I do this exact thing. You’re only human and can only do one thing at a time. I give this advice to my family too, when they feel overwhelmed. You’ve got that huge list, but I say to forget about that huge list, it’s not a huge list, it’s just one thing. That first thing on the list is ALL you need to do today, once that is done, GREAT, reward yourself and move on to the next one thing. Also, the smaller the “things” the better as you’ll race through it all so easily. Equally, I like to add things like “have lunch” and “put washing on” to that list too, just so they don’t get missed out and so that other things don’t take over.
    I hope you start feeling motivated soon!
    Sian Xxx

    Sian      Reply
    • Hey Sian! Oh the motivation is back (this is an older post) big time. It definitely helps to keep the to-do list simple for sure. I like to focus on what needs to get done today rather than get bogged down by what needs to happen in the coming weeks/months. One step at a time right? Like you, I also schedule house chores into my day-to-day too. I usually do those things in 15 minute spurts throughout the day.

      dellie      Reply
  • I love that. Writing down just one thing and seeing it seems like it also might help pull you away from the ledge of letting it all get to you. I’m gonna try it.

    Ashley Elrod      Reply
    • I hope it helps Ashley! It is a great reminder when your feeling unfocused that’s for sure. I have mine just off to the right of my screen so I can always see it when needed. Hope to see you again!

      dellie      Reply

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