Weekly smARTips: When Concentration Slips Out The Door

smartips_when concentration slips the door_clear the clutter

I’m imagining that you have no trouble with concentration as you are producing a piece of art. The flow, at whatever point in the process it manifests, is natural, effortless.

But once you slip out of the studio door and into tasks of administration, business, and marketing, that’s when concentration becomes an issue.

Jennifer Hofmann, the creator of “Gentle Organizing for Creative Spirits” has a thought I think is worth considering. And, as usual, she does it with humor.

———From Jennifer——————

Please enjoy this narration from my brain while I was attempting to work:

Argh! The cat’s driving me crazy! I wonder what’s on Twitter? (opens Twitter)

Argh! Quit farting around! (closes Twitter)

I wonder why those bees are hanging around outside my window…

What’s in my email inbox?

Wait – what was I doing – oh yes…

It’s normal. Bouts of distraction happen. Everyone has different symptoms, but the outcome is the same: you’re busy but not purposeful.

What’s distracting you?  Once you realize what’s pulling you off track, you can manage your experience by removing the attention-grabbers.  For me, it was the sun’s glare, the cat’s repetitious grooming, and open project folders on my desk.

I closed the blinds, moved the cat off my lap, cleared the folders off my desk, and then closed more blinds because the sun moved (well, technically, the earth moved).  And sat down to work.

But even that doesn’t always help.  I got distracted. Again.

And I humbly realized: I can’t bend focus to my will. Even in the clearest, most refreshing spaces, sometimes people still can’t concentrate.

Once upon a time, people moved around. They walked places, moved their bodies for work, rode animals, collected their own food.

Today, I know a lot of people who sit at desks for a large portion of the day.  Me, for one.  In itself, that’s not such a bad thing.  But for many people that natural, vital movement is gone.

Taking movement breaks is vital to creativity.  Who hasn’t gotten a good idea in the shower? Or out walking?

If you’re distracted, and making adjustments to your space hasn’t helped, move.  Get up and get away from your desk. Do something you like.

You’ll be surprised how much better you’ll concentrate when you get back.

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Your smARTist Move of the week
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Try it. The recipe is so simple.

Can’t concentrate?

Add five minutes of stretching, getting a cup of tea, stepping outside to smell the lilacs, or (my favorite!), stand on your head!

Do you have any favorite organizing tips you’d like to share?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below…

=============================================

Learn…

  • The case for gentleness: Why organizing is useful but not the only answer
  • The gift of clutter: The hidden value in the things around you
  • How you can use creativity to help you become more organized and mindful
  • How to organize your space for your creative spirit
  • >Which 3 tools will increase flow, clear space, and creativity.

hofmannJennifer Hofmann was not born organized. In fact, her creativity and ADD meant she started projects she never finished, was surrounded by clutter, and struggled to keep up with everyday tasks. Today, Jennifer still isn’t the poster child for House Beautiful, but she understands people who struggle with clutter and overwhelm and offers unique solutions that help small businesses grow and thrive. 

$39  Add to Cart

 

Click here to add Jennifer’s “clear the clutter” tips to your Art Career Library!

3 Responses to “Weekly smARTips: When Concentration Slips Out The Door”

  1. Sari Grove says:

    hmm…

    It began when I studied the Automatistes at Sarah Lawrence…That they felt if you allow for things to flow, to happen, that maybe the Holy Ghost(my interpretation)might be able to sneak into your work & make it miraculous…

    Later I cemented my path by becoming a Christian, & again read about how you really shouldn’t stifle this Holy Spirit…

    So I incorporated into my life & career the idea that things arrive (thoughts arrive like butterflies is a neat quote from the song Even Flow)…

    So all those things, the sun, the cats, the distractions, I let in…

    I allow things to happen as much as possible…Allow “distraction”…

    It is how I come up with my wildest ideas…

    Just allowing for the kooky stuff…

    The seemingly random…

    I feel like all those distractions are part of the fabric…

    • Hi Sari – I’ve missed you!

      I love this allowing of distractions, treating them with respect for what they offer instead of with annoyance for what they might be preventing.

      Because, you are so right. It is ALL part of the fabric.

      And you’ve made me wonder if distractions, like metaphors and analogies, are never the random events we think they are, but significant clues that lead to exactly where we want to go.

  2. Sari Grove says:

    Hi Ariane,

    I’ve been following your every word, but just being quiet…

    You’ll love letting things happen…It makes for interesting walks, great conversations & deep thinking:”What does that mean?””Why was I there today?”…

    You start thinking everything has a reason…

    It gives meaning…

    Now combine this with the knowledge that periods of idleness are very good for creativity…

    Yes…Just laying around for a few days being slothful can provide you with enough energy the next day to solve a huge world problem…

    So…

    Allow things to happen + sloth can be very useful = more excellent & fun & creative career path!

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