It can be hard to find focus sometimes.
A few months ago, I was talking with a colleague who was having a hard time finding focus in their work. They spoke of feeling pulled in multiple directions and of many obligations — both at work and with their family. As I listened, I could hear how frustrated they were feeling. It was obvious that a few things needed to shift for them. They needed to create a path that would get them moving forward in a more focused way. A path that was achievable and that would help to reduce the level of distractions they were experiencing. They needed to find a way to feel a true sense of control over their life.
Working together, we set out to make a list of ideas and strategies that, when practiced, had the potential to really assist them. Here’s a few key things we put on that list . . .
- Reduce interruptions when focus is needed! This meant finding the least distracting spot to work, eliminating the constant notifications on their computer and smart phone and planning ahead to maximize productivity during the quietest moments of the day.
- Stop working. Really! This was critical — often my colleague would keep working long into the night — when they were overtired and actually not productive at all. Instead of pushing themselves to keep on going we agreed that they would set a regular time to stop their work. This would support them to move on in their day and to be sure they were enjoying time with family and friends more frequently.
- Look after self. These were simple self care ideas — but they mattered. Going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. Finding moments in the day to breathe more deeply, calming busy thoughts in their mind and being more mindful throughout the day. It also included eating more real food and less junk food – and — actually remembering to eat. Oh – and getting their body moving. Going for walks or for a swim several times a week.
Today, things have improved. My colleague tells me they feel more focused and less distracted. These improvements show in the projects they are working on and in how they are generally feeling. They seem more at ease. They are also more aware of what works and doesn’t related to maintaining ongoing focus and eliminating distractions.
Finding your way to focus can be difficult. Sometimes the more we try to achieve focus the more distracted we become. It can be good to get out of your own head and discuss your thinking with another person. You’d be amazed just how many other people also struggle with distractions and maintaining focus. Other people can offer you solid ideas and suggestions that can make a real difference.
Do the things you need to do — so you can reduce the distractions in your life and improve your overall focus. Finding focus will make everything so much easier, faster and more rewarding.
Put Your Mind to It
The next time you find yourself having difficulty with focus or you feel distracted from your work — take note. Ask yourself what is happening that is causing you to feel that way? Consider what you can change up in your life. Talk about it with a close colleague or friend and get their input.