HOW TO RE-FOCUS AT WORK WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE A DISTRACTED POTATO




It's 2 pm. How is it already 2 pm? 

You glance down at your empty coffee cup and contemplate whether it's time for another cup. 


You look back at your screen and back at the cup. You get another cup of coffee. 


You sit back at your desk and decide to focus. But first you check Twitter because you may have missed something crucial. Then you check Facebook just in case you missed something that wasn't covered on Twitter. You see that your friend tagged you in ANOTHER meme, your mom commented on your same picture for the third time (true story), and you read yours and all your friends horoscopes. After, you took a quiz to find out which Friends character you are. 


You decide that now you can focus. Now is your time. You open the thing you are supposed to be working on. You put your earphones in. And you're really not feeling this song but curious about what this artist is up to these days. They're touring. Next summer. Def going! Ok, ok, you find the song that will launch you into super creative work mode.


Now you can focus. Like hard. 


In the corner of your eye you see your phone light up and it's a text. Someone could be in danger. If they were, they'd obviously send you a text over a phone call. So you better check it. Like now. 
Anddd your friend sent you ANOTHER picture of their cat. 

Does this sound like you? If so, you've come to the right place.


Suit: Primark London, $70. Heels: Zara $35. Purse: Value Village, $8. Glasses: c/o of Clearly.ca. How cute are these frames?! When I saw this pink suit, I knew exactly which glasses to wear it with. I feel like a monochrome dream. Thank you, Clearly!

You don't have to hate your job to fall under the distraction spell. Maybe you love what you do but you've just gotten side-tracked and are having a hard time finding your way back to awesome. Here are some tips for feeling focused and energized:


Go.  

The fastest way to focus is to give your brain a break. If you're finding that you keep hitting a block in with what you're doing, whether it's writing or coming up with a creative solution to a problem, chances are your brain has too many tabs open. Try standing, walking around, going outside, and basically visit an environment different than the one you're currently in. This will give your brain some space to re-sort. Some of the most creative minds in history spent the majority of their time on leisure and sleeping. Check out this chart. The red bars represent time spent doing creative work. The green bars are time spent doing creative work.


I realize we live in 2018 and most of us are required to work a certain number of hours. But you get the point. Walk anywhere. The water cooler. Go! 




Awareness. 

This should probably have been first. Awareness is your friend. Once you become aware that you're distracted, you'll be in a better position to do something about it. Next time you get distracted, try taking an extra moment to analyze the before, during, and after. 




Two or three things.

On a day when i'm feeling most distracted but I have deadlines looming, I make a list. It has two or three (at most) things that I want to accomplish by the end of the day. When I can cross them off, I leave work feeling confident. During slower work times like summer for my job, I found it helpful to chop up my day into chunks. I use a Google Calendar and schedule each hour with a different task and colour code. I had it send me pop up reminders when it was time for the next task. It also gave me soft deadlines.


One thing at a time.

Managing social media is part of my job and a regular piece of my day. But it doesn't come without major distractions. Let's say I'm going on Facebook to check if we received any messages or comments on posts. So, I log on and BAM. Black hole. All of a sudden I'm conducting all kinds of creeping. At some point I return to my senses and think wait, why did I come here in the first place? It's like when you walk into the kitchen and immediately forget why you went there so you start munching on some cheese. Anyone? 


What were we talking about?


Right, one thing at a time! When I start something, I try really hard to stick with it. Even if it means having to be hyper-aware and keep a strict inner voice. No, bad, bad, close that tab, exit, delete, focus!



Music. 

I typically have to work with one earbud in at all times. I need to have background noise to help me focus. Silence just doesn't work for me... at work. 


If you're able to listen to music at work and it helps you focus, definitely try it. When I need to hyper focus, I tend to listen to mantras or instrumental music. I find music has a really positive influence on my work flow. Here's a link to one of my favourite playlists I made.



PHOTOS BY MICHAEL TUNDO.

Breathe.  

Here's a yogi pro tip! Sit straight and block your left nostril with your index finger. Inhale through your right nostril. Hold the breath for five seconds. Exhale through your right nostril. Try this for three minutes. This is the breath to help you focus because it corresponds to the left side of your brain, which is associated with logic. 


Happy focusing!








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