“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. ” – Anthony Robbins
Work can sometimes be well… boring. Lots of times we plan productive days but end up somehow losing focus or in many cases watching amazing cat videos. I think all to many times we might blame ourselves for not being passionate about our work, or we create “busy” work for ourselves to get through the day. Yet, there are a few things we can do, if not for our co-workers and team mates, certainly for ourselves that can help our growth and development throughout our careers and day. Here are my three ways to stay focused at work… even if you love cat videos.
Think Of The Bigger Picture – It is unbelievably easy to get consumed in your personal life, your job, and everything around us. When we perform the same tasks day in and day out we start to feel stagnant in our life. So how do we shake this? I always try to sit back and think of the bigger picture and task at hand. What am I trying to accomplish, and how will this affect me for the better? In essence I daydream for a little bit. I set my alarm for 5 minutes, let my mind wander, and then I bring my focus back to what I’m doing. This exercise really helps my mind take a break, think of my bigger goals in life, and in turn gets me motivated to do the task I may be avoiding. Once you remind yourself of where you want to be, getting there becomes a little easier.
Walk Around – You’re probably thinking how is walking around supposed to help me increase my focus and get any work done? It comes back to letting the mind take a break. We kind of need to come to terms with the fact that human beings as a species are not meant to be sitting down for 8-10 hours staring at a computer screen. It just doesn’t work that way. Sometimes to be the most productive we need to get up, get the blood flowing, and focus our attention on something else. How does this help? When you come back to your work you’ll be able to approach it from a different angle. This strategy also works great if you are dealing with a really tough client or situation at work. Do your best to take a walk or get away from your desk. Studies have shown it takes at least 20 minutes to come down from an event where you get emotionally overwhelmed. Take the time to come down. The work will always be there; it’s really important to take care of your health, both mentally and physically.
Create A Game – When I feel my focus drifting at work I create a game out of it. I try to time block, and say I bet I can get this amount of work done before lunch time. I also challenge myself to think about other departments and how they function. What ideas can I think up that would help a certain department? Or what challenge is my department facing that I can help out with? By creating a game of time blocking and problem solving it really allows my creativity to flow (something that is very important to me) and make work not feel like… well work. I think these “games” or strategies will be different for everyone. Really think of what is important to you; whether it’s creativity, organization, work flow, etc.. and see how you can make it more efficient. The funny part about this strategy is, more times than not you’ll think of great ideas while doing it. This strategy has created the most value for me and my professional career, and has been responsible for a lot of growth throughout my life. Take the time and be creative!
Conclusion – Sometimes staying focused can be work on its own. Even if we are doing something we are incredibly passionate about; we all need to take a break and step away for a bit. When we come back to our tasks at hand, we can approach it with a fresh perspective. It’s so very important to remember to take care of ourselves both physically and mentally. There are parts of all jobs that can drive us crazy! Remember to value your mental and physical health, and put yourself first! How do you bring more focus to your life and work? Do you have any good strategies to “get in the zone”? Let us know in the comments below!