Job, family, friends, school, romance, life in general – everything and everyone needs just a few minutes of your time. Fatigue set in and things are a bit blurry, everything, including your thoughts are out of focus. Here are some tips to regain a healthy frame of mind and move forward while focused. These tips help me, and I want to pass them on to anyone who feels overwhelmed by responsibilities.
When Energy is Low
When you lose focus, you generally have low energy. It does not make sense to undertake a high-energy task like writing a departmental report or a term paper. When my energy is low and I need a boost, I find if I do some low-energy stuff that I see through to the end, I feel successful. Nothing gives you energy like success! Some of the things I tackle are cleaning my workspace, going through my in-box, or going through a stack of mail. These are nebulous, but necessary things to do that, never make it on a to-do list. Getting one or all of them done gives you a needed boost.
When You Must be Focused
There are times when it is critical for you to be able to get your focus back quickly. The work you have put off for your boss or school now has a deadline looming in front of you. When this happens to me, I take drastic measures – I get rid of the distractions.
- First, I turn off the ringer on my phone and let the voice mail do its job.
- I close the blinds so that what is going on outside of my office cannot istract me.
- Though I generally find music helps keep me productive, if I am humming more thanworking, I turn it off.
- My door gets closed, that small amount of added privacy yields lots of improved focus
Saying No Means You Never Have to Lose Focus
I work at home, so no one thinks I have a real job and there was no respecting my time. I finally solved that problem by learning to say “No.” Before, a friend would call me from his job and ask for a favor, maybe get his clothes from the dry cleaner before they close because he was working late. This takes at least 45 minutes, but hey, it is for a friend. However, how can I ask anyone to respect my time when I do not do so? Learn to say no – say, “I would like to, but I cannot,” or just, “sorry, I am working” or even just a friendly “No.” Quickly and without animus your time gains respect. This gives you more time in your day and you can focus.
Learn to Kick Back
Take a break when you are out of focus. Losing focus is one way your brain is saying to you “take a break.” My way of doing this is to put a leash on Jake, my Australian Cattle Dog and go for a walk. I live just off a nature trail and walking the trail for just a few minutes is more refreshing than a nap. I come back, settle in at my desk, and find my focus is laser sharp.
Not every tip works for everyone, try these though and some are sure to share work. If you have your own tips, please share them in comments.