It seems the world “focus” comes up a lot lately in the media, e-mails, conversations – basically just about everywhere.
Perhaps it is the Universe’s way of telling me that it is time to pay attention.
Focus, or lack of, seems to be a recurring theme among us Career ADDers. Our thoughts are constantly tripping over themselves, coming at us from all directions and sending conflicting messages.
For those of us with Career ADD, one of the more interesting areas of life are what, where and how we choose to focus our attention. When we are in the “zone,” so to speak, we can focus for perhaps hours and hours on a subject that interests us.
This is a huge clue. We can spend hours and never be distracted. Think of the last time this happened to you, what were you doing?
On the other hand, when we are not in the zone, our mind drifts and all kinds of crazy things can happen that we are not so pleasing, including confusion and perhaps frustration. This, unfortunately, is the state of mind that many of us can stay in for years on the job.
So, it would not be out of the realm of possibility to say that our feelings have a great deal to do with identifying our true career direction.
How do you feel when you use the skills you are using in the job you are in or the one you are currently seeking? Are they skills you want to focus on using 40-50 hour a week?
There is just so much outside information that makes it even more confusing for us – particularly with Career ADD. We are forever comparing ourselves to others who we deem successful.
We are listening to or reading “advice” that we know inside has nothing to do with who we are and will rarely, if ever, lead us to our best and true career direction.
For example, just knowing what we are “good at” (our assets) is not enough. What if we get nauseous or distracted (unfocused) when we know that we have to use a particular skill we are “good at.”
Do you find that you are expected by others to use that skill just because you can do it relatively well? What if you just used that skill for your own benefit instead of someone else’s? I’m a great keyboardist, but do I want to do this for a living?
However, I love being able to type as fast as I can think when I’m writing an article. Now I can appreciate this skill and how I’m using it. And, of course in all of this my focus is better because I’m having fun.
The key is to identify ONLY the skills you truly love to use, and the capacity in which you love to use them. One of my best and favorite skills is creative problem-solving.
When I am using this skill, it is quite simple for me to get in the zone. Focus is absolutely no problem. I am wide eyed and my intuition kicks in high gear. This is just so much fun!
So if you notice you have a skill you love to use in situations other than work or what you are doing now, the key is to identify one or two work-related situations where you can use this skill. Imagine yourself in the most delicious setting.
I meet some of my clients at my favorite coffee house – one of the settings where I get inspiration. Creative solutions abound in this setting, particularly when sipping on my favorite tea. Offices tend to feel restrictive to me and I don’t naturally do my best work. What is your best setting- the one that inspires you to focus?
If this sounds too ominous, begin by identifying, unabashedly, five skills you love using in any situation before embarking on skills you might use in a job or career.
The solution to lack of focus is to ONLY FOCUS on the skills that make you feel the best to use.
The next step, of course, is where you want to use them and in what capacity. But that is another article.
Start here and please leave your comments below.
Focus career direction image from Shutterstock