A feeling of being scattered is pretty common for people seeking to carve out their own path, especially those with the portfolio career who are juggling and balancing a number of client and personal projects simultaneously.

There are usually three elements at play when the scattered feeling kicks in:

– Wanting to be productive

– A desire for some kind of measurement (could be qualitative or quantitative – page views, feedback from a client, number of words written, etc.)

– The need to experiment, to be creative

All these elements connect to feelings of uncertainty, fear, and value.

Looking at these as a triangle you can probably quite easily place your current feeling:

Measurement, Productivity, Experimentation

It’s pretty rare to be at the center position where there’s a feeling of creativity, productivity, and a rapid and regular feedback or measurement loop. 

Usually you’ll be somewhere out towards the edges. That’s often a very positive thing (especially when in a flow state of productivity or experimentation), but when the sense of being scattered comes up it’s easy to feel you’re suddenly floating somewhere outside the triangle altogether, or even pin-balling between the angles.

To reconnect and realign it can be helpful ask some self-coaching questions. 

Here are a few that I’ve found to be useful when the scattered feeling arises:

– Is being scattered tolerable when it’s worth it?

– What if you knew experimenting was worth it? What would you feel?

– What’s important about having measurement? What does that give you?

– What’s a good definition of ‘productive’ for you? (not someone else, not society, but you)

Bottom Line: Maintaining the portfolio is never easy, and the scattered feeling rarely goes away for good, but it’s definitely possible to keep it in check using a few good questions.

Managing the feeling of being scattered

Get the latest posts direct to your inbox
There's something wrong. Great! Check your inbox and click the link to confirm your subscription.