Real Talk – Unfocused

findingfocus

You see all these bloggers with seemingly perfect lives, Pinterest worthy homes, clothes and days. I’m not one of them. I like to keep things real around here. So here is another edition of ranting real talk

I’m stuck.

No, considering these negative temps we are STILL experiencing, I think frozen is a more appropriate word for what I am experiencing. I can’t find the motivation to do anything.

Earlier this month I communicated my winter time blues, so it is no secret that I’m in a serious thunk. All I want to do is come home to my comfy couch, layer on blankets upon blankets, and eat warm food. It’s too cold for anything else. Last night we finished watching the entire series of Breaking Bad. We started it less than a month ago. (and oh my what seriously good writing, my mind is still reeling). Like, I said, I do not want to get off the couch.

Or out of bed. Upon waking I spend way too much time on my phone or pushing the snooze button, postponing the inevitable truth that I will have to get up and go to work. Normally I enjoy my job. I like the work my company does and I love the relaxed environment I work in. I’m the only employee and can wear jeans everyday, and can get away with leggings and yoga pants! But my frozen brain is making it very hard to get through the work day. I’m putting off projects til the last-minute. Everytime I go to start a new project I get instantly distracted. I make other easier work just so I don’t have to do the harder work.

And just have a look at my desk.

my cluttered desk

Gone is the neat and organized girl. Soon they are going to send the producers of “Hoarders” in for me. Maybe I think the piles of papers will soon act as insulation and keep me warm?

The gym is only happening 3 times a week as opposed to my usual 5-6 times a week. At home I’ve been preparing only the easiest of meals and avoiding all laundry and cleaning. Surprisingly, I’ve managed to put away most Christmas decorations, yet my kitchen still seems to be confused as you can see:

chalkboard

I am constantly thinking up cute winter or  Valentine’s day sayings to replace the Christmas message. But, every time I look at it, I just feel overwhelmed at the idea of taking down the board, erasing, and writing a new message. I just look at it and run out of the room, choosing to ignore.

Same goes with blog posts. I have at least half a dozen well thought out drafts, but when it comes time to finalize them I come up with a million excuses. The worst is when I decide to write something off the top of my head, like this ranting gem of a post. Nothing like writing about writer’s block,am I right blogosphere?

All of these consequences are followed by guilt and more avoidance. The fact that my desk and house is a mess is truly counterproductive because I do my best creative work and productive work in neat and tidy work spaces. So, the clutter just stresses me out more and I just walk away from it. Hey, even at this point it feels like I’m avoiding finishing up this post with any real structure or closure and just rambling on and on.

So, I decided that if I come here on the blog and offer some advice on how to FOCUS then I’d HAVE to take my own advice or live with knowing I’m a huge hypocrite. So, here are a few ways in which

Split up Tasks: I get so overwhelmed when I see 30 emails to respond to, or a stack of papers that need to be sorted and dealt with. Try to tackle one obstacle at a time. For example, I will tell myself that I will respond to 4 emails, upload and edit 10 photos, and type 1 chapter of the manuscript I’m working on. Break down your tasks. Most of the jobs aren’t hard per say, they just seem overwhelming when combined.

Reward Yourself: Tell yourself that after completing one of your tasks you can browse twitter for 5 minutes or that you can have a second cup of coffee. Simple rewards break up the day and also structure your time. I know if I didn’t give myself these time limits I could get lost on social media for hours.

One Song = One Job: Put on your favorite music and tell yourself your going to work on one thing while one song is playing. This works best for me with household chores. I’ll start in the kitchen and say I’ll work for the duration of one song. Usually once the next song comes on I think, oh I can work through another song. Pretty soon I’ve cleaned all of downstairs!

Schedule a 30 Minute Time Slow with NO Distractions: When I’m writing, editing, or doing similar work I can’t have any distractions. I must close all extra tabs on the internet, put my phone in another room, turn off the music, and be alone. I’ve found that if I tell myself I have 30 minutes to work, and make sure there are zero distractions, I dive into my work head first and end up working well over an hour. Time flies without distractions.

Have any other tips to share with me? I’m hoping this attitude of mine melts away with the snow.

xoxo Katie

 

6 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

6 ways to beat the winter blues

Just in case you are living in another part of the world, we here in the States have been experiencing the phenomenon that has been named “Arctic Blast”. This blast delivered record low temperature causing schools to shut down and myself to obtain crippling cabin fever.

There’s no hiding it. I’ve got a serious case of the winter blues. Every day is a battle and the days are moving so slowly. I spend idle time looking at the calendar, longing for the days to move ahead or by browsing through photos of warm spring and summer day. I forget what the sun on your skin feels like.

everything sucks in winter

Tonight we have to take our Christmas tree down. We may just hold a funeral for it. Tears.

I can barely pull myself up out of bed every morning. I’ve been late to work every single day this week. Today, my usual 15 minute commute took me 40 minutes and my little coupe almost slid into a ditch twice. There is no need to dress or look nice because really it’s all about just staying warm. I’ve had enough!

But, winter is here to stay. We have AT LEAST another 2 months of cold weather. So I decided to share a few ideas on how to beat those winter blues.

1. Exercise

exercise to beat winter blues

a sweaty gym selfish. you’re welcome

I don’t think you need me to list all the known benefits of exercise, it’s healthy for your mind, body, and soul. So, even though you want to do nothing more than curl up under 5 blankets and eat macaroni and cheese, push yourself to work out. You will boost your energy and improve your circulation and body image. Plus, you’ll feel so good about keeping up with those healthy New Year’s resolutions you made. The average (non active) person gains up to 6 pounds each winter. Get up and move before even your yoga pants feel tight!

2. Host a Luau

host a luau to beat winter blues

Crank up the heat in your home, blend up some frozen concoctions, and blast the steel band music. Mind over matter right?

Truth, my college roommate and I did this our senior year. We turned up the heat to 80 degrees, wore our bikinis and covers up, and made awesome margaritas and rum punches. We were SO excited. But then everyone ignored our invite details and showed up in their winter clothes, turned down the heat and complained the drinks were too cold. I swear, some people just don’t know how to have FUN.

3. Explore New Food and Drink Recipes

hot rum punch

So you’re stuck at home. Take the opportunity to try out new food and drink recipes. You’ll have fun experimenting and will enjoy eating and drinking while your bundled up on your couch watching a movie. This weekend I’m going to test out a recipe for a hot rum punch.

4. Sleep More

sleep more to cure winter blues

Sleep has major benefits. This is your time to take advantage of them! The snow has canceled your plans (once again!) and you are stuck at home. You’ve watched enough of Netflix and are out of wine. May as well take a nap! Enjoy it.

5. Start a New Tradition

host a winter wonderland party

So the holidays are all over and you have nothing to look forward to. Why not create a new tradition? One that takes place annually in January or February? Something to be excited about! Above are ideas for a winter wonderland party. Or you could plan an annual weekend away, or ski weekend, or simply a girls slumber party.

6. Embrace the Season

embrace the beauty of winter

When all else fails, get outside and enjoy the beauty of winter. Bundle up in as many layers as you possibly can and embark on a winter adventure. Ice skate, snow shoe, ski, snowboard, take a snowy walk and admire all the snow-covered trees. Build a snow man, play with your dogs. Make the most of it because pretty soon you’ll probably be complaining of the heat and humidity.

  xoxo Katie