Today is the first Monday of 2020 and so for many people it’s their first day back to work after the festive break… Naturally, this can stirr up various emotions including stress, anxiety, apprehension and in contrast to this excitement making it far from straightforward to get your mojo back and get into the swing of things.
With the above in mind, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity five techniques to try when you’re struggling to focus on your work, in particular after having some time out… Not only will it hopefully help you to re-gain your focus, it’s all the perfect reminder to kick me into action: it’s just the motivation I need!
Reward Yourself For Your Efforts: This might sound a little trivial, but it’s proven to be an effective way to increase productivity. Depending on the task at hand, your reward can either be something physical, like a snack or perhaps a break where you can put your feet up with a book, or catch up on a series which is causing a distraction in the back of your mind. Taking small breaks are proven to be quite beneficial so this is often the approach I take. For example, if I’m working on a post once I’ve outlined the format and drafted any key points, I’ll allocate myself 10 minutes to catch up with a book or some lighter social media content..
Break The Task into Manageable Chunks: This is one of my favourite technicques. Setting smaller achieveable goals is something which I often write about and I truely believe this is much more affective way of goal setting – even if they’re smaller chunks of an overall larger goal. I like to call these mini-goals and I think a fabulous way of ensuring that I don’t overwhelm myself with larger, more time consuming tasks. Depending on the task at hand, I would break down the mini-goals accordingly. If I’m writing, I’ll consider each paragraph a mini-goal, whereas if it’s fitness I’ll break my steps into hourly goals, or perhaps social media I’ll break down into weekly goals… There’s no right or wrong way to implement this technique so give it a try!
Try a Warm Up First: A warm up isn’t just beneficial for physical exercise, sometimes it helps to ease yourself in gently – especially if you’ve taken a period of time away from work and you know you’re going to be facing overwhelming and larger tasks upon your return. If you don’t want to jump straight into your inbox (which is understandable) perhaps try a brain-training task such as suduko or a wordsearch? Even reading motivational quotes online can be beneficial – you wouldn’t run a marathon without warming up before!
Stop Procrastinating: Although often easier said than done, sometimes it’s much more beneficial to grab the task at hand by it’s metaphorical horns (no cruelty here please) and bite the bullet… It’s always easy to find multiple reasons to put the task off until later, perhaps reading another blog post will give you the motivation you’ve been lacking, or another cuppa will get the creative juices flowing, however in both cases you’re very likely to be in exactly the same position you were, only with less time – so what’s your excuse?
Look at the Bigger Picture: This is really effective, especially when goal-setting or managine numerous tasks… Procastination in particular, can result in the procastinator only looking at short term goals and therefore they lack the motivation to tackle the task and move forwards. Before you begin a task, take a few moments and ask yourself to consider the bigger picture. Perhaps you can’t think further than tomorrow, or you might inspire yourself to think a week ahead, even a year ahead – the posibilities are truely endless!
Here are five techniques which I find really beneficial when I’m struggling to focus at work, being self-employed I have an endless list of distractions and if I don’t work, I don’t get paid for it’s paramount that I’m able to focus and progress with the task at hand. Do you struggle to re-focus after some time away from your job? Do you have any fail-proof techniques to get your head back in the game?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!