How to Focus When Your Brain is a Kaleidoscope

I just got this note from someone who participated in my last Get One Thing Done Day, we'll call her Abby:

"I 'got one thing done,' Jennifer, and put project to-do lists on my bulletin board, plus made shelves for individual project papers. But there are so many. I'm a KALEIDOSCOPE, with many interests. Setting priorities is hard. I end up doing the urgent things, jumping from one to another, all so important."

I feel like everyone I talk to these days is saying the same thing--I have too much to do, but everything on the list is important and I can't eliminate anything!

Ever feel that way? So much to do, so many ideas, always starting, never finishing? Always putting out fires? Never getting to the important things on your list?

Let's go back to Abby and her overwhelm. First of all, even in the midst of the frustration, what a gorgeous way she found to describe a mind that is filled with ideas and connections and passions! A "kaleidoscope!" I love it. And it makes sense—when you're the kind of person who sees something new and beautiful and possible every time you turn your head, it's really hard to focus.

And when it's hard to focus, and you keep starting things and getting distracted, and nothing ever gets finished, then do you know how you feel? Unbelievably crappy! And overloaded, frustrated and probably resentful/angry because everywhere you look somebody else seems to be accomplishing things and what the hell is wrong with you that you can't get anything done???

Here's my opinion: There's nothing wrong with you.

You have a mind full of magic. You just need someone to keep your head pointing forward, in one direction, long enough to get rooted. You need someone to hold your hand and hold you accountable and hold your computer shut so you can't check Facebook when you're supposed to be working.

Things simply take time. You may be able to knock your project out in three hours, or you may be able to just start it—but once you experience your own ability to stay focused and get things done (the important things, not just the urgent things), then you have PROOF that you can do it, that it's possible for you to bring into the world that which you can envision in your mind.

If you want to get it done with me, join me for the next Get One Thing Done day (, a virtual workshop you can participate in from anywhere. If you want to get it done with a buddy who will hold you to it, go do that.

But whatever you do, please don't give up. The world is waiting for you, so whatever your body, heart and mind need to keep you focused, go find it and go do it so you finally get to show up in life the way you want to.

If I can help you do that, it would be an honor.