Are You Rigid or Focused? It’s a Difference That Matters.

Rigid or focused? It makes a difference.

The difference between being rigid and being focused or disciplined has a big impact on your success. Yet, quite often these qualities are conflated.

Finding time to get everything done requires that you do some planning.  If you don’t, you’ll be at sea in the midst of a floating array of seemingly random (and demanding) tasks, priorities, and dreams.

And planning requires both focus and flexibility.  I emphasize flexibility because so often when we develop plans, our attitude is that we need to stick to them no matter what.

Rigid or Focused?

There’s a whole world of difference between disciplined follow-through and rigidity. Think about how you feel when met by someone else’s rigid response to a change.  Do sparks fly?  Or do you grumble and seethe inside?  Do you feel responded to or rebuffed?

That’s what happens when your PLAN becomes your priority, rather than whatever your priority actually was to begin with.  When you’re moving toward rigidity, you are becoming so committed to your PLAN that you let other parts of your life suffer. Relationships can be the first casualty.

Telling the difference:

So how do you learn to tell the difference between when you’re being focused-but-flexible and when you’re being rigid in your daily living?

Well, first off, have you thrown your judgment out the window? Follow-through builds trust and is very, very important.  However, follow-through “no matter what” means that you are not really taking responsibility for exercising judgment and making adult choices.  Circumstances sometimes DO interfere with our plans.  That is a reality of human life.

So, being realistic about your planning and factoring in some flex time can leave space for the unexpected and can actually PROTECT the flow of your day.

Feeling rigid? That’s a warning sign.

When you feel rigid, view it as a red flag.  It’s telling you that you are trying to focus but have lost your balance.  This can happen to anyone.  When you notice this happening, take a deep breath and step back.  Ask yourself:

  • “What are my central commitments?”
  • “How can I adjust to what is happening at this moment?”
  • “Is there anything I can let go of right now?”

Maybe you will shift things around, and maybe you won’t.  The important thing is to check in with yourself and fully own your choice.  The red flag helps you pause and readjust your perspective.

Focus and flexibility are skills you can build.

As you do this skill-building, you’ll find that self-reference is one of your best allies. Keep checking in with yourself to find your balance.  You’ll feel more and more comfortable and agile, as you navigate your day by flexing here and holding firm there.

Finally, always reflect on your results, not with a critical eye, but with friendly objectivity.  This allows you to build on your experience and deepen your trust in yourself and your judgment.

So, how will you create balance for yourself when it comes to focus and flexibility? 

And how will you catch yourself when you fall back on rigidity to maintain your boundaries and get things done? 

More help for you…

Overwhelmed? Discouraged? Stuck? Well, here’s something that will help you loosen those logjams and start moving again. “Why Can’t I Ever Get Anything Done?” How to Transform Your Life Using These 101 Time Tips is a compilation of 101 of my most popular time tips in expanded form, offering practical, heart-based wisdom in right-sized bites for easy digestion.

It includes time-tested tips and action steps separated into 11 common categories to help you find just what you need at the exact moment you need it. You know, transforming your life is all about transforming your time.  It’s within your reach, and these 101 Time Tips give you 101 stepping stones to your time success. 

And I’ve got a very special bonus for you, too. Why Can’t I Find My Direction?” 17 Journaling Prompts to Create Your Ideal Life is a workbook designed to support you in making the changes you most desire.

There’s so much for you here, and you can learn about it by clicking the link below:

Let’s explore time together…

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