I am working with a client who had a very upsetting weekend–nothing bad, she was just MAD. She asked, “How do I maintain focus when I’m so upset?” It’s hard to make art or work on marketing your art when you don’t feel like it.
Well . . .
I am certainly no expert in such psychological or motivational issues, but here’s what I’ve found: Give into your natural response. Don’t try to do anything you can’t handle at that moment. It will, inevitably, be self-defeating. You’ll create bad work–whatever it is–and still have to deal with the situation.
When I find I’m not focusing well, I do something else. Otherwise, I’m spinning my wheels.
Case in point: Miki, my Siamese cat, turned 19 years old two weeks ago. She’s not doing great (arthritis, kidney disease, etc.), but she isn’t too bad, either. I finally made the decision to take her to the vet today and have (what they call) a “geriatric” (!) exam. I have been worried about her for two weeks. I’ve been crying, reminiscing, and preparing myself for her eventual death. Yesterday and today were just too much. I found myself not wanting to work and I certainly couldn’t do much that required a lot of thought. My mind kept wandering back to my upcoming appointment with the vet: what if . . . what if. . . .
Instead of wasting all of my time, I decided to turn on some music on my computer (happy music! Louis Armstrong stuff!) and do some of my more tedious tasks that didn’t take too much brain power. I got that stuff done and out of the way. I honored my need to take care of personal issues while still getting some work done.
Don’t fight it.
Oh, yes, and by the way . . . the vet thinks Miki is looking pretty darned good. Amazingly, she weighs less than half of what she was at her heaviest.
Image: Miki on my desk.