How To Stay Focused When You Enjoy Too Many Things

stay focusedWe’ve all heard that the key to success is to stay focused. Just do one thing. But for us creative types, it can be hard to do that.

Now, you might not think of yourself as a creative type because you’re working in finance or HR or some other business setting and not painting a Rembrant forgery or your own original masterpiece, but I disagree.

I’d call you a creative if you like to “develop solutions” or “improve processes” or even if you’re a people person.

I think of you as creative if you like to make something where there was once nothing.

That might be a solution, a process, a relationship, an idea, a conflict resolution and more. It’s not just the next great novel.

The trouble is, with us creatives, we like creating things, and we’re usually pretty good at it. And there’s no end to how much creating we can do – that well goes pretty deep. So our minds work on different problems and in different contexts all the time.

That can make it hard to stay focused on one area. 

Creatives Are Jacks Of All Trades, And Pretty Good At It All

When you can see yourself in multiple different contexts and roles, and being interested or good at any of them, it can be extremely hard to focus in on one thing, and to know which direction to pursue if you’re considering a career change.

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After all, you don’t like being pinned down to doing just one or two things – part of what makes you thrive is that you get to let those creative juices flow.

You get a thrill from doing multiple things – in short, staying focused feels like a bore.

So are you doomed to be unsuccessful?

Stay Focused on What You’re The Best At

You are not doomed to be unsuccessful, you just have to work on staying focused on your own zone of genius.

First, identify it.

What is it that you are particularly good at? Is it relationship building, conflict resolution, solving problems, etc? Is it moving between several of these tasks – multitasking?

For example, one of my clients fits perfectly into this description.

She’s extremely bright and holds two Master’s degrees. She absolutely hates being stuck behind a computer all day, but if you put her in an absolute disaster of a situation and ask her to manage her way out of it, she’s a genius.

She can multi-task, handle high-stress environments, finesse relationships, and make great decisions with ease. But a room with nothing but a computer terrifies her.

You might look at her and say she has trouble “staying focused,” but in fact, if she focuses on what she’s great at, she has a high probability of success.

The same is true for you. 

Getting Paid To Stay Focused

You may be feeling worried because you can’t yet see how to put all (or most) of your interests together into something that might get you paid.

But if you can look at your real zone of genius and what you are skilled at, you will find that you do have skills, talents and interests that not only are marketable, but that will also hold your interest.

And really, that’s what we’re worried about here, right?

You need work that you care about. Finding work that means something to you is right there – it’s what holds your interest and what drives you or holds a deeper meaning.

So take a look at your zone of genius and see if you can discover what you might do that you could stay focused on that would lead you to success and happiness.


Career Change, Work Life Balance

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