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Finding Focus: Advice for Parents

I Can't Think Straight!

Your mind is racing at a breakneck speed — changing direction every few seconds. Perhaps you are plagued by phones ringing, kids demanding attention, customer complaints, employee tiffs, or simply too much on your plate. Whatever your situation, it's as though you need a traffic controller for your brain. One thought takes off. Another crosses into the same path. Several others circle in a holding pattern, waiting for permission to land. If only you could close your thought-port — just for a few moments. It would give you time to sort things out and see more clearly what is most important. You'd feel more in sync from the inside out.

You can calm mental fireworks by practicing techniques that help you to turn down the noise, hear your inner voice, release past concerns, and focus on your priorities. Whether you "shut down" for one minute or ten, you'll notice the difference. Try two short breaks throughout the day, or take one longer break. It's up to you. Whatever time you can spare will add to your clarity.

Just don't fall into the trap of postponing your refocusing break until you have more time. No matter how rich or poor, how wise or uninformed, we all have the same twenty-four hours each day. It's how we choose to use that time that makes the difference. You can race from activity to activity without taking a breath, or you can choose to stop all incoming mind traffic long enough to assess what is best for you next. Imagine what a few minutes of centering might do for you. Lift your mood? Improve productivity? Enhance your creativity? Boost your confidence?

When you can't think straight, it's time to reset your inner compass. Here are ten quick-lifts to help fine-tune your focus. Some take as little as two minutes; none take more than ten. A small investment for clearer direction, don't you think?

  1. Practice "Morning Intent"
  2. Do, Defer, or Delegate
  3. Learn to Really Breathe
  4. Complete One Thing
  5. Throw One Back
  6. Get Physical
  7. Accept a Helping Hand
  8. Get Rid of the Ghosts
  9. Stop Shoulding on Yourself
  10. Plan Tomorrow Today
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A series of "quick-lifts" excerpted from Recharge in Minutes, ©2003, by Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D.

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