What to do when you can’t focus.

focus | kourtney thomas fitness life coach

I don’t know about you, but in the last week or so, I’ve been going through periods of struggling to find focus.

Thankfully, it’s really only been very recently. I’ve been hyper-focused on Fitness Unraveled for months, including the entire length of quarantine, so I wasn’t having too many challenges in this department until now. When you’ve got a specific project or work to do, your focus is decided.

Well, the hard and stressful and busy part of that focus is gone now, and I get to focus on the fun part, the coaching part. But because that’s the easy and pleasant and unbusy part, I’ve got a lot more free hours with less focus.

I still have work to do, of course. I have fitness clients, I have ongoing marketing and relationship building. I have volunteer stuff. I also have some house projects, fun baking projects, Marvel movie marathons (I am Groot.), and self-care to focus on.

Still, somehow, after a period of being more regularly occupied, that doesn’t seem like enough, and I can’t seem to get my shit together.

Maybe you can relate. I know I’ve talked to quite a few clients and friends who have felt this drifting feeling. Like, it’s not as if we don’t have the same amount of, or potentially more, responsibilities right now. It’s more like they’re untethered because we aren’t as tied to specific and tangible boundaries or timelines. And that’s difficult to deal with.

We often think we want more freedom, but what we usually want is freedom with at least some constraints.

Anyway, I’ve found myself really leaning on my meaningful productivity philosophy and practice in the last two weeks – truly getting one thing done and being OK with that. I’m fighting this struggle to focus, and I’m trying to walk away from that fight and allow myself to just let that go as much as I can.

So, as I wandered around the house yesterday for a few hours after a couple hours of coaching, some emails, and a conference call, I found myself real distracted and totally unfocused. I had writing on my list, but I couldn’t nail down a topic. I had starting a new project on the list, but I couldn’t figure out my first small step. I decided to take a break, come back to my office in a minute, just let the unfocus take over.

I opened up my Instagram, and we all know what happened then.

But, after half an hour of mindless scrolling, getting worked up about some stuff I was really trying hard not to get worked up about, and then kicking myself about all of it, I realized something – this particular lack of focus was actually allowing me to take better control of my focus.

To explain a bit further, I was going a little mentally and emotionally off the rails about something I feel strongly about. With my focus on that, no wonder I couldn’t focus on work, or even taking a break to workout, much less folding fucking laundry or some other mindless discrete task. Honestly, I didn’t even want to bake or turn the TV on, and that’s saying something. But in diving down the social media rabbit hole, which yes, exacerbated my feelings in a not-so-great way, it highlighted my focus, and put into stark relief my ability to shift it.

You know how sometimes when you’re trying to take a picture of something and it keeps doing that weird spazzy thing where it won’t focus on the actual object? That’s what this felt like. And you know how you either close your camera app, then reopen and try again, or you move the focus point to either a slightly different angle or an object near the one you initially wanted? (Or if you’re using an actual camera, you might shift into manual mode and make some targeted adjustments.) Yeah, that’s what this felt like too. And that’s what you can do in life.

When you can’t focus, refocus.

Allow the unfocus for a bit. Then, take the information you’re getting about your lack of focus and use it. It might feel like lack of focus, but it’s really telling you where your focus is.

Is that where you want to be focused? It’s totally OK if that’s a yes for now. But if it’s a no, guess what? Time to focus elsewhere.

It doesn’t have to be a total 180, a completely different subject or task. (Though, of course, it can be. Sometimes a little cleaning or a walk or a nap does the trick.) It might be from a strength workout to a dance party. Or a full blog post to one Instagram story. It might be from sales calls to emailing current clients. Maybe even from scrolling social to sending texts to five friends.

Or maybe from nothing at all to one, small thing that brings a smile to your face.

But I can pretty much guarantee that if you are struggling to either find focus, or to focus on a specific thing and it’s not working, taking that as an opportunity to refocus, even slightly, will completely change the picture.


For more focused insights each week, sign up for emails here. And if you’re still struggling to find the focus you know is within you? Schedule a call below and let’s see if we can’t figure out how to make that happen together.

what to do when you can't focus | kourtney thomas fitness life coach

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