Focus of the flame

Photo courtesy of Smabs Sputzer (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Smabs Sputzer (Creative Commons)

I’ve been sitting here wasting time and getting nothing done. Unfocused. Distracted. And that has been happening for too many days.

But this morning, I lit a candle here on my desk. Just on a whim.

There’s something so wonderful about candlelight. Warm and comforting, as it flickers and dances. Almost like it burns away the distraction and brings my mind into focus.

There are so many stimuli in my world right now, so many interferences that keep me from what I need to be doing. Some are self-imposed, of course. But we’re at the mercy of many and just need to find ways to cope.

I’ve probably tried every hint in the book to try to stay focused. Turn off social media. Plug in appropriate music (that means not too upbeat or too calming – either of which cause their own problems). Block out time to work on the project. Eliminate interruptions as much as possible. Set a timer. You’ve tried these too and more, haven’t you?

All sorts of tools and plans and strategies to just be able to get things done. And this morning, the one thing that has worked above all else is that candle. Somehow, the soft glow brought my focus back to what I needed to do.

What simple tools help you focus?

2 thoughts on “Focus of the flame

  1. Taking short breaks to clear my mind help me to focus. If I go too long, I start to miss the answers. My mind starts to freeze up and I lose concentration. I starting thinking about ice cream – and the chocolate syrup and whipped cream. I forget what I’m working on. That ice cream sounds good, even at 9:30 am.

    I also need to get better with what I have open on my computer. If I leave too much open, an e-mail reminder can distract me from my work. Just seeing multiple programs open at the bottom of the screen can distract.

    This is something that I need to work on more. Thanks for sharing.

    • I’m guilty of too much open on the computer myself. Now that I think about it, that may be why I do a little better in the morning – I haven’t had a chance to open it all up, not many emails (or at least not ones that I need to respond to that early), not much chatter on social media. I discovered something today – a friend from my blogging class wrote about his discipline of setting certain word counts for the day – brilliant! I was so determined to sit there and write what I needed to, I got it done easily. That may be my new plan. Thanks for commenting and good luck!

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