There are many things that require our focus, all of which have different motivators to keep us on task. Our jobs are a pretty important one, and we're motivated to stay focused because we need to get paid in order to buy the things we need (like yarn). Maybe the motivation of friends coming over to visit keeps us focused on tidying up, or nothing else matters but getting packed for that trip tomorrow. Lately I've found myself having difficulty staying focused on tasks, and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone. This sort of thing can happen, and I try not to give myself a hard time about it, but what is upsetting me right now is that it's been affecting my knitting.
I think for the most part, makers find that their craft is usually the distraction from the things they need to focus on. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has neglected some sort of chore in order to get a few more rows in. But what happens when our craft starts feeling the affects of neglect? I'm not talking about those times when we honestly don't feel like making something. Maybe that particular project isn't giving us joy or we find ourselves looking for something new to try. In those moments, it's good to be true to your heart and seek out the things that will make you happy. When my knitting isn't bringing me joy, I turn to my garden and usually feel refreshed. But that's not what is troubling me lately. I'm finding it's difficult to focus on my knitting despite my desire to do it. So, what are we going to do about it? Well, if you're struggling with keeping your focus on things, here are some steps we can take this week.
First, we need to place honest value on our making. It's something that we need to do because it brings us joy, calms us, relaxes us. This is important for our mental health and that should be a big motivator. Our craft might often get classified as a hobby, but for some of us, it's a lifeline.
The next step I have been taking is picking the one or two projects that are the closest to being finished and focusing on them. My hope here is that I will feel that swell of joy when I finish something that will then motivate me to finish the next project (and hopefully the next). You can apply this technique to other aspects of your life by breaking down large tasks into smaller ones. Each completed tasks gives you a surge of endorphins that make you feel good so you keep moving on to the next task.
Finally, I think it helps to talk about our struggles. This blog is very helpful for me, and I thank you for reading my words if you've made it this far. This Mindful Monday post may not seem as motivational and uplifting as the others, but I think it's important to be our real selves and share our struggles. I'm not here to paint a false image of my craft. We all have ups and downs, dropped stitches and ripped projects. Every sweater doesn't fit and every finished project doesn't make us happy. My hope is that if you are also feeling anything close to what I've described here, maybe I've said something that will help. Even if it's just knowing that you're not alone.