Finding Focus

 

Hi everyone. I hope you all had a great weekend! We had a really chilled out one here and I’m feeling so much better for it today. We drove up to The Catskills which is an area in upstate New York which is SO stunning this time of year. The Autumn colors just blew me away & it was just what was needed after a busy week. I woke up with a ton of energy and focus this morning which is definitely not always the case for me on a Monday. It’s a day I sometimes find really overwhelming so whenever I feel a positive energy like this, I take note of what I did differently. It’s what inspired today’s post actually.

I wanted to have a little chat with you about focus & share from my experience, 5 ways to improve it. Ever since I got back to Ireland, I have to admit, I’ve been struggling a little to properly focus on some elements of my work. So I’ve been trialing & testing different things to help it and there are definitely some small things I’ve done which have made a HUGE difference. Nowadays with so many distractions it can be difficult to discipline yourself and get the most done everyday. I’m in a constant battle with a to-do list & I assume most of you could be too so hopefully this post you will help you too.

 

 

Before we get into the rest of the post though, I also want to talk jewelry. How stunning are these pieces I’m wearing in todays post? If you follow me on Instagram (@retroflame), you’ll know I’m a huge fan of a jewelry brand called LAGOS. So you can just imagine how excited I am when they got in touch saying they would love to collaborate. They recently launched the most incredible Gold and Black Caviar collection and as soon as I saw it, I fell in love. If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll know I’m a) very simplistic & minimal when it comes to jewelry and b) I live in all things gold and black… so I just couldn’t love this collection more.

 

 

I’ve been wearing the pieces for a few weeks now and they have been so perfect for all the neutral Autumnal looks I’ve been styling. I just think you can never underestimate how much jewelry elevates a look and these pieces seem especially timeless to me. They re made of 18K gold and black ceramic so the quality speaks for itself. I also love the caviar beading which is one of LAGOS’ signature design elements. The essence of the collection is that you can mix, match and stack a lot of the pieces together & I just love when a collection is versatile like this.

 

There really is something for everyone in the collection (which you can check out HERE) but I have to say my favourite pieces to wear so far have been the Gold Drop Earrings, the Gold & Black Ceramic Bracelet, this Beaded Bracelet and these gold rings – here & here are just amazing. Let me know which piece you would go for? SO many great investment pieces!

 

 

 

Now let’s get back to my tips for better focus. As I said, there has definitely been a few things I’ve been doing that have helped tremendously so here’s a brief chat below about each one.

1. GET UP EARLIER

This is number one because it really is the most important, in my opinion. Obviously the more time you have in a day the more you get done and the more you get done, the more focused you feel. This also allows you to factor in some time for procrastination which is bound to happen every now and again. I will stress though, you do NEED to go to bed earlier if you want to bring this practice to life. I’ve learned the hard way that it is not sustainable to go to bed at 12am and get up at 6am. You will eventually burn out & your focus will be worse than ever. I’ve been going into bed at 10pm this past week (getting to sleep about 10:30/11:00pm) and setting my alarm for 6:30am. The nights I get a good 8 hours sleep, I genuinely am a different person. So test out going to bed 1 hour earlier & getting up 1 hour earlier for the next few nights and see if you notice a difference in your day.

 

2. DO ONE THING AT A TIME

We hear all the time that women are pro multi-takers and I do believe we are, but I just don’t believe we can do a million things at once 100% well. Something suffers. If you can put all your energy into one thing at a time, you will stay far more focused. What I’ve personally started doing is leaving my phone in my apartment when I go upstairs to our lounge area to work. It definitely feels a little weird not having my phone with me but wow, I get everything done so much quicker. No temptation to ‘just check Instagram for 5 mins’ (which always leads to 30+ mins) and just so much less distraction overall. So if you find yourself jumping from one thing to another, figure out what you need to eliminate. Break up the tasks into 30/60 minute allocations and get through your list one-by-one. This one takes a little practice to get used to but once it becomes a habit, it’s a game-changer.

3. TACKLE THE HARDEST THING FIRST

You know that thing on your list that you usually avoid all day long?! That job you keep putting off? Well guess what? When you force yourself to do this first and just put it behind you, it changes everything. If you can get your hardest task done first it will give you such a boost for the rest of the day. Nothing else will seem as daunting and you’ll fly through the rest of the list. Try it!

4. BE REALISTIC

Ok so this is one I still haven’t fully mastered but I’m working on it. I’m guilty of making a MILE long list every day even though I know it’s realistically impossible to get through it all. It immediately sets me up for disappointment because I always end the day with things still to be done. So what I’ve started to do instead is just list SEVEN to-do’s every morning. No more! I can’t remember where I read it, but 7 is supposedly the ideal number of tasks to complete (well) every day. I find that when I have less on my plate, I really focus on those 7 tasks and the more productive I feel, the more focused I am. Win Win!

 

 

5. TAKE SHORT BREAKS

…and finally, take breaks. SO hard to do sometimes but wow, the difference it makes. The days I properly stop for lunch and take a 10 minute walk outside are the days I get more done. Fact. It’s amazing what even 10 minutes of relaxation can do for you. Short breaks have a huge impact on your focus -they help you to re-align & re-focus and are absolutely necessary throughout your day. Oh and this also includes weekends. The weekends I take a few hours to sit on the couch with Tommy and just watch TV and do nothing for a few hours make such a difference to my mind. Don’t forget, we all need to switch off to properly wake up.

 

 

 

 

I really hope you enjoyed this post & took something from it. I also hope you love the new LAGOS collection as much as I do. I loved shooting this campaign so much.

Chat soon,

x Erika

 

*Thank you to LAGOS for partnering with me on this blog post!


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  1. Kelly

    28 October

    This is such a wonderful read! Like you, I struggle with #4 – being realistic. It’s a work in progress but sometimes it’s hard to nail down what’s realistic when you really want to do it ALL!

    xoxo – Kelly
    http://www.dreaminlace.com

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