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