A few simple ways to change focus from that hectic schedule and unopened email to the people and things that are most important in our lives. Sometimes it´s as easy as just moving things around so we see them in a new light. Changing our focus can help change our attitudes, reduce stress, and renew our appreciation for what we have.
There are times when we become so absorbed in our daily activities and routines that we often forget to notice and appreciate the special people and objects around us. Instead, what we do see is the dust on the pictures hanging on the walls, the pile of papers building up on the table, the stack of unopened mail, or the shoes forming a pyramid at the front door.
With our hectic schedules, it’s so easy to become distracted and focused on other things. Just processing the massive amount of information that the world presents to us on a constant basis can leave us drained and inattentive.
Sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back from our lives to see what’s right in front of us. Often, all it takes is simply moving these things from where we’re so used to seeing them for us to notice them again.
A few suggestions:
- Rearrange the paintings and posters you have hanging on the walls. You loved them when you bought them, but when was the last time you really noticed them? Move them around, replace the ones that you aren’t crazy about with the ones stacked in the back of the closet.
- Replace some of the family photos on the walls, tables, or mantle with more recent ones. Or better yet, take some new ones this weekend, frame them, and put them out.
- Move some of the furniture around. Start with some of the smaller pieces, and try to create some cozy seating areas, or an inviting conversation nook.
- Change the things you display. The crystal clock that you’re mother-in-law gave you that you never liked but felt compelled to leave out? Replace it with a small bowl of shells from your last trip to the beach, that sculpture you picked up in Shanghai, or maybe a pretty wine bottle that you and your loved one had shared.
- Put the piles of papers, unopened mail, and unread magazines in matching baskets or bins. It’s much more visually appealing, as well as manageable.
- Take almost everything off of your bedside table. It’s the last thing you see when you go to bed, and the first thing you see when you get up in the morning. Leave the alarm clock, a reading lamp, a favorite book, and no more than a few things that inspire you, or have special meaning.
- When you do have the time to dust, don’t put things back exactly where they were. Keep moving things around.
- Replace those generic office supply storage containers on your desk with some favorite objects. Grandma’s teacup makes a great paper clip holder; Dad’s coffee can from his workbench makes a terrific pencil cup. Have some fun finding the things you have that you enjoy looking at and using.
- Take ten minutes out of your day to really see someone who is important to you. Pay attention as they speak, hear what they’re saying, watch their expressions. If they can’t be there in person, make that phone call. Tell the people in your life that they are important, and that they matter to you.
Life can easily get overwhelming and distracting. Take a few minutes to clear your mind and your space. By simply moving things around and surrounding yourself with the people and possessions that matter to you, you’ll find it much easier to change your focus to what is truly important. Once you can concentrate on what really matters, you’ll enjoy a much better perspective on life.