I will be the first to admit that from time to time I lose focus on what I am doing. I recently lost focus yet again after the Daylight Savings Time took effect. The Monday following when I returned to work I could not figure out why I felt great in the morning as always when I got there, but I also felt that something was not as good as it usually was on this day. I could not
retain my focus on any part of my work, and it was draining. I mentioned this sluggish feeling to another co-worker who said she felt the same although she had been sick a few days’s before and was not sure if it was being sick or the time change, or maybe a little bit of both. I was making silly mistakes, was able to catch some, but not all and it seemed to be affecting everyone all week long. Needless to say, I was glad when the week was over, and it was time for a few day’s off. It was also Veteran’s Day holiday so not only was it a weekend it was a 4 day weekend for me. Thank you Veterans for all of your services.
As the weekend progressed, and I was diligently working to get my housework done, I check my work e-mail from time to time to try to keep up on things, and there it was the e-mail that listed all of the oversights and mistakes that were collectively made during the week, I was not shocked or surprised as the week seemed to have affected all of us. So! was it the time change or was it a lack of focus on the work at hand. I dare say a bit of both, but possibly more the latter. When we lose focus on our work, we forget to do things, and make stupid mistakes that affect the day-to-day operation and could possibly cause a major unnecessary disruption in whatever service you provide. This is not a good thing, so what can we do to correct this lack of mental focus that seems to at times rear its ugly head? I am going to list some of the daily habits that I am going to try to incorporate in my life that will help me when I feel a lack of focus.
- I have installed a chrome extension called PostureMinder, that sends out a notification to watch my posture and to sit up straight, you can also set this extension to tell you to get up from your seat for stretching and movement. I find that slouching in my chair tends to make me tired and unfocused. When this notification pops up on my computer it directs my attention to be more aware of how I am sitting and refocus on my posture and it also makes me become more focused on the task at hand.
- Movement is so important when sitting at a computer most of the day. I take a walk on my lunch break every day when the weather permits. I find that I am more alert after I come back and can finish out my day a little more alert than before the walk. Getting outside helps to bring back clarity and focus, just to be able to get some fresh air helps with getting your mind back, and regain mental focus.
- I know it’s not popular to share how your feeling with another co-worker or boss, but letting someone know how your feeling and that you are struggling with staying focused, may help to bring you back on task and provide the clarity needed to “snap out of it”, and continue on with more focus. (It couldn’t hurt).
- Admit you may have made some mistakes, we all do. When lack of focus hits, especially when it’s been a crazy day, I will make sure to let the person coming in after me know that I had a difficult time staying focused and that mistakes may have been made, but make sure to check your work for the day to try to catch and avoid mistakes if at all possible, just know that there will be times that something will be overlooked. You can count on it!.
- Sleep…, Make sure you’re getting enough. What a difference sleep makes in one’s ability to focus. As a person who is up very early, I sometimes find it difficult to sleep after a long weekend. The weekends can sometimes, and usually does wreak havoc on a person’s sleep schedule. If at all possible, work on getting quality sleep, get the phone away from your head when you sleep, if you use it as an alarm set it across the room where you have to get up and turn it off. I am so bad at doing this because I can’t sleep, I find myself doing this very same thing. I find myself watching video’s on the phone, or turning the TV on and letting it entertain me until I go to sleep. Such a bad habit, I am working on this.
- Finally, don’t beat yourself up, It happens to everyone, give yourself some grace. Tomorrow is a new day, and you can re-focus and be productive once again.
I hope these 6 habits are beneficial to you and can help you to become more focused and productive in your daily work, I am personally working on incorporating these as well especially as I am approaching my last few weeks before I retire. I think they will come in very handy in the coming weeks.
Until Next Blog, Stay Focused