Four Rituals to Focus Fast
I get asked a lot how I manage both growing a business and running a family.
There is no simple answer because the how changes all the time, honestly. What works for some seasons, doesn’t work other seasons. It’s like watering a garden — you can’t hold the hose on one seed for too long. You need to find a rhythm where all the seeds get a bit of water, enough to keep thriving and growing.
And it’s that toggling between different roles and needs that becomes critical to master, if you are going to stay productive and focused.
One of the best ways, I’ve learned, to do this is with simple transition rituals that help me go from multi-tasking, scattered brain into focused attention on the task at hand, so I can up my productivity and really give my attention to what needs it at the moment.
Over time, I’ve created a four-step practice that I do when I need to shift gears and get into “work” mode.
This simple ritual only takes 2-3 minutes — but it instantly brings me out of multi-tasking “mom” mode, into a place of focus, clarity, and calm.
It’s now become a routine that begins my work hours, and I’ve seen a distinct difference in the quality of what I can accomplish when I begin by shifting gears properly.
Perhaps there are times in your day or week when you could use simple techniques that help you calm your frazzled thinking, collect scattered thoughts, and usher in focus and clarity so you can give your full attention to the task at hand.
Here’s the four-step practice.
I love essential oils. I use them throughout my day. And, in particular, I have a few I reserve for when I need to shift into mental focus, high-level attention, and creative thinking. These are cedarwood, sandalwood, and frankincense.
Incidentally, they are all essential oils with high levels of sesquiterpenes, which are a class of molecules that are heavily oxygenated. When you breathe them in, these tiny molecules actually make their way through your olfactory nerve into your brain and deliver a shot of oxygen straight to your noodle.
Pretty powerful and pleasant stuff. If you haven’t caught my Essential Oils for Self Care workshop — click through to get instant access, here.
Lighting a candle creates a shift in focus. I tend to think of it in terms of adding natural elements into your space — it creates boundaries from the outer world and helps you see more clearly what is right in front of you.
Same with running water. Or even stepping outside for a moment to breathe in fresh air. In my office, I’ll often open the window when I’m getting “stuck” or take a quick3-minutee walk around my cul-de-sac if I need a quick clearing.
To begin my work, I almost always light a candle now. Visually and aromatically, it triggers me to pay attention to the task at hand and helps bring a calming atmosphere to my office.
3. Crown Pull
Ever since I’ve been introduced to energy medicine, I’ve been completely hooked.
If you ever have the experience that your brain is just on overload, or that you’re managing too many scattered thoughts and need to clear your mind, this is incredibly effective.
Here’s one of the videos from my free 7 Days to Calm series that demonstrates the Crown Pull (and if you haven’t checked out that video series yet — get on it, now!)
4. Rapid Deep-Breathing
This 1-minute breathing exercise is one of the easiest and best I know of to quickly quiet a “chatty” mind. I learned this when I first saw Dr. Douillard give a talk about wellness.
In a nutshell, it is 30 seconds of rapid, deep, nose breathing, followed by 30 seconds of calm, rhythmic breathing. Amazing results.
Click here to watch Dr. Douillard demonstrate this himself. (Note: instructions begin at 1 min 20 sec into the video, and you can watch him demonstrate it at 3 minutes into the video).
writing a book?….
Love these tips and have added the essential oils to my shopping list. Any tips on your favorite and/or recommended candles? I gave up candles years ago due to the chemicals but suspect that you have some great suggestions.
Hi Jessica– You may want to check out http://www.soydelites.com/- I know they use soy based wax and have unscented options if you are sensitive to fragrance…I’m still on the lookout for candles that use pure essential oils- haven’t found a company yet.
Love these ideas, thanks!
You are SO spot on, RE how we Western moms have to take on much more than we were designed for. I’m on a journey myself to keep my balance and not overload. Thanks for the tips!
I was having trouble getting myself in the zone today and remembered this post from a while back. Searched your new category tabs on your website and found what I was looking for and promptly shared it on facebook. 🙂 Thanks for all you do for all of us out here! Now off to dive in to my tasks for the day!