>Fractured Focus

>Part of the reason I find it difficult to blog is that I don’t have time, but a big factor is my fractured focus.

I have so many different projects and responsibilities that I can’t concentrate on anything for an extended period of time. My mind flits from one thing to another like a butterfly fluttering between flowers.

If there’s one thing a writer requires, it’s focus.

My work on a nonfiction book, my fiction writing, my work for different organizations and people all require focus. My family, my friends, my pet, and my home all require focus.

I’ve been busy in the past. I’ve worked part-time and full-time outside the home, even attending college and raising children while working, but I have never before experienced such splintering of my mind.

Working outside the home allows one to concentrate on the job at hand and generate income for every hour spent in the workplace. When you leave the workplace, you leave that focus behind and can concentrate on family, friends, or other responsibilities. Life is busy, but structured.

Working from the home means that every phone call, every email, every doorbell ring, every puppy’s lick is a distraction that tears one’s thoughts away from writing. It’s often difficult to recapture the momentum after even a brief distraction. Life is busy and unstructured.

If I were working on just one writing project, I could at least keep that one project in my mind while I was doing dishes or taking out the dog, but I have many different projects with demanding deadlines. During my average morning, I try to concentrate on as many as five to ten different work projects, not to mention the home and family responsibilities that–as a home office worker–are always in my face.

Physical and mental limitations are further complicating factors. My first few hours of the day are the best for writing. I am usually too fatigued to do much of anything in the afternoon and evening. One of the ways I try to guard my precious morning hours is by scheduling as many appointments as possible for the afternoon.

Before this blog degenerates into any more of a pity party, I ought to clarify that–although it’s far more difficult to maintain focus and generate income when working from home as opposed to working outside the home–I recognize that doing work I enjoy from my own home is a remarkable privilege. And although working from home lacks structure, I recognize that very lack of structure provides an extraordinary and enviable flexibility.

If I can’t figure out ways to keep my focus from fracturing, I must figure out how to be productive in spite of a fractured focus.


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