There are distractions away from our jobs with the continuing pressure of COVID-19 and the leftover stress from holidays. Which, this can cause a chain reaction to making maintaining focus difficult, hamper creativity, and dampen enthusiasm for work. A strategy may help to beat attention fatigue and stay on point.
Strong Body, Strong Mind
The first thing you should do is take care of yourself physically. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to concentrate when you’re tired? Get plenty of sleep, and eat healthy meals that will raise your energy level. (Cut down on the caffeine and skip sugary snacks that cause your metabolism to crash.) Regular exercise will help keep your mind in shape as well as your body. When you feel capable, you’ll be better able to take on whatever the day may bring.
Work with a Purpose
Once you’re rested and ready, here are a few steps that can aid efforts to maximize productivity:
- Optimize your work station – Many people are working remotely due to COVID, so “office” environments may be haphazard, allowing all manner of intrusions. Choose an area that’s strictly dedicated to working, preferably with a door that you can close to the outside world. Pay attention to ergonomics and arrange tools of your trade to support efficiency. To brighten your surroundings—and possibly stimulate your creative side—add pleasing decorations and knick-knacks that will make you feel at ease.
- Clear your mind – Before starting your day, beginning a project, or tackling a new crop of tasks, stop a moment. It’s time to put past battles behind you and ignore any other mental bogeymen. To refresh your spirit, you might indulge in a few minutes of meditation, try some deep breathing exercises, or listen to a little relaxing music.
- Focus on what you can control – It doesn’t look like the coronavirus is going anywhere anytime soon. That, and a lot of other things going on in the world, are simply out of any one person’s hands to affect. However, you’re a professional. You still have the power to conduct business to the best of your ability, surpass expectations and make a huge positive difference for contacts, colleagues and agents who depend on you. Nothing rejuvenates the soul like being someone’s hero!
- Have a plan – One way to avoid being pulled in a lot of different directions is to begin everyday knowing what you want to accomplish. Make a list and stick to it. Sure, the unforeseen will always pop up from time to time, but when those fires are extinguished, your to-do list will be waiting to help you get back on track.
- Look at your work from other perspectives – It’s never good to “stew in your own juices” for too long. A great way to get your mind off your own issues is to put yourself in the shoes of those with whom you work. You’ll soon realize that everyone is on the same team and success for one contributes to success for all. Plus, the change in outlook may well stimulate you to do some innovative problem-solving.
- Reach out to co-workers – Self-reliance is a virtue, but good ideas never come from one person alone. Identify one or two colleagues whose judgment and creativity you trust, and ask them to be sounding boards for your ideas. Do it over the phone or by chat. From time to time, see if they would be willing to offer suggestions to overcome the challenges you face or ask them to informally collaborate on projects. Not only are two heads better than one, but the interaction will also help relieve the sense of isolation you may be feeling.
The most important thing to remember about distractions is that they can have power over you only if you allow that to happen. Take command, and make good things happen!
Forbes – https://www.forbes.com/sites/jesscording/2020/03/13/working-remotely-during-coronavirus-stress-/?sh=7e6e07306fe1
Time – https://time.com/5801725/work-from-home-remote-tips/
University of Michigan – https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/health-management/6-ways-to-relieve-your-work-from-home-fatigue
Inc. – https://www.inc.com/leigh-buchanan/remote-work-radio-flyer-innovation-design.html
Harvard Business Review – https://hbr.org/2020/11/how-to-stay-creative-when-life-feels-monotonous
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