Lori Shelby, Ph.D., Founder & CEO
We are inundated with distractions. For those of us working remotely from home distractions can be almost constant… pets, children, partners, making our next meal, doing laundry, social media, Netflix, etc. For #MethodsMondays, I am going to share three ideas for increasing your focus that work for me.
1. MAKE THE SPACE YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO FOCUS. No judgment here, just be honest with yourself about what you need. Not all of us can productively do our jobs at our desk, in our office, using only digital tools all day. Here are just a few thoughts:
2. DO NOT BLAME YOURSELF. This is not about motivation, procrastination, or strength of will.
Focusing is a skill, which means you can work at it and improve over time. Remember that everyone gets distracted and blaming yourself takes energy away from being able to concentrate on the task at hand. For me, just the action of recognizing I am having difficulty focusing and choosing not to blame myself, helps me get back to work more quickly.
3. MEDITATION FOR 5 - 10 MINUTES. Meditation does not need to take a lot of your time. I like an app named Calm for mindfulness. Research shows it helps to increase concentration, focus, sense of well-being, etc. It is also a great way to understand and improve your focusing skills over time. I have often used it to reset myself to focus on a large time-consuming work task with great success.
What about when it is not you, but your family interrupting? Last night I got interrupted 6 times while I was trying to do a 7 minute meditation. Life happens. Try to be creative. A friend of mine wears a special hat when he needs to not be disturbed and even his young children know to only stop him from working if it is an emergency when his hat is on. I have husband and two dogs who don’t need a great deal of attention, so it is typically easy to go to a different area of the house and refocus or simply verbalize that I need to complete a specific task and need to concentrate.
Regardless of your circumstances, the key is to make your environment work for you, and to acknowledge that you need to spend some time and energy making sure you can focus effectively. Just remember…it happens to all of us.