A return to focus

My efforts to take a few notes in the Google Keep application have improved in the last few days. I’m trying to capture a few ideas of things throughout the day that could deserve some consideration during the start of the day writing session. Mostly I’m trying to capture some ideas that could drive a paragraph or two of coverage. I’m trying to get that spark of creativity going a little faster at the start of the day. That seemed like a better strategy than trying to build into it a paragraph at a time. One of the notes that got captured was about the reason my slides for this virtual presentation took so long to complete this time around. Generally when I’m traveling two different windows of isolated effort occur. First, at airports I generally put on my noise cancelling headphones and work on things in a very concentrated way. Those are times of extreme focus where something receives my undivided attention. Second, during the actual flight I typically have some of my best high quality focus time to really get things done. In this time of pandemic all the traveling is on hold and my focus has been less than stellar. It took about several weeks before I was even really to return to writing at my normal frequency of output. It was like a giant procrastination monster showed up and created indecision and made the simple things hard. 

One of the things I have been trying to do is capture the time at the start of the day by getting up at 05:00 hours and writing to focus my thoughts. That effort has been in place for 80 straight days of weblog posts to this functional journal. The other time of the day that I can control is the time right before bed. Between those two windows of time I have tried to have a return to focus. During the entire month of March this year I only posted 10 pieces of content. It was not until June that my productivity returned to full strength. Really for the most part the thing that shook me out of my downward spiral into letting the blank page win was the reflective moments that surfaced during my 40th birthday. During that window I was able to really sit down and think about how I was using my time and refocus my effort to ensure that time was being well spent on things that helped make a dent in the universe. Obviously, not everything is going to be that impactful to the continuing arch of history, but by working every day to push things forward to a perfect possible future it is more likely a lasting contribution will occur. 

Today so far I have been really thinking deeply about that return to focus and what it means. Not only have I been thinking about that return to focus, but also I have been trying to figure out how to recreate that focus time from an airplane flight or from the airport. Maybe it is about putting on the noise canceling headphones and breaking all contact off to focus. That is probably the key piece of the recipe that has been missing. Much like an uncontrollable river flowing without any gaps or pauses things are happening in the world. Dropping my focus from that river and staying purely engaged in the thing that deserves all of my focus and energy is just harder than it should be to achieve. In terms of my journey toward finishing up the slides for that virtual presentation I have fully moved into the mode of practicing my delivery. That is where my energy is focused at the moment. I’m trying to make sure the content being delivered is both informative and engaging for the audience. Not being able to see the crowd and react to the energy in the room I’m going to have to stick to my training tempo and remain upbeat and do my best to be generally engaging enough to keep the interest of the audience. 

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