Paper Cuts: Staying Focused. Or Not.

Confession: I have a case of the summer lazies. It's bad. Real bad.

I work best under pressure. Deadlines, juggling multiple clients, and back-to-back meetings keep me on a tight leash. When things start to slow down, and I don't have a bit of pressure, I have a tendency to let myself wander. Wandering isn't a bad thing, but I find myself feeling guilty on the days where I have a handful of  low-pressure things to do, but just don't feel like working.

It's been happening to me a lot lately, and some days I feel frustrated with myself. Does that happen to you, too? I work for a few hours in the morning (when I am most productive), and then I take the afternoon to do some chores around the house, go food shopping, browse Craigslist for hours, take a nap (yep, I take naps when I need to), or spend some time with my husband. I enjoy these relaxed days - but I have this voice that nags me from the back of my mind saying "You should be at your computer. You should me answering those three emails that came in. You should be scheduling blog posts. You should be photographing recent work. You should be this, and you should be that. BUT YOU'RE NOT AND YOU ARE LAZY!"

The rational part of me knows that I physically and emotionally CANNOT work 24/7, and that my random lazy summer afternoons balance out the fact that I haven't been on a vacation in over a year. The rational part of me once calculated that, dispite taking a few afternoons and weekends off, I still average well over 40 hours a week of working time.The rational part of me knows that the summers slow down, and that I should be trying to take time off, before busy season hits and I am back to working 12-14 hours a day, every day.

Sigh. Isn't it funny how, when I am sitting at my computer trying to get work done, I simply cannot focus. Right now, for example, I have 10 tabs of Craigslist (I'm searching for the perfect glass dining room table), 2 of Pinterest, and 1 of Bloglovin' open. Did you see the new buffet I scored on Craigslist? I shared a photo on Instagram. I am now consumed with how to pull together my entire dining room around it.

As difficult as I find it sometimes, I do know that I have a job to do and I must focus. Even if it's only for 3-4 hours on some days. I have a very strict morning routine - wake up, have coffee, check emails, make a list for the day, and then I do not allow myself to leave computer before 12noon. Once lunchtime passes I may or may not decide to work the rest of the day - depending on how urget my to-do list is.

Do you all have days/weeks/months like this? How much pressure do you put on yourself to keep focused, even when you would rather be doing 10,000 other things?

Any ideas on how I should decorate my dining room?

Wednesdays here on the blog are all about sharing Paper Cuts, which is a behind-the-scenes, down to Earth business advice series. I hope you've enjoyed today's Paper Cuts topic, and look forward to having you back next time! To read past Paper Cut posts, click here.