Time flies during the summer. We are already in the second week of September and Labor Day is in our rear-view mirror, and in essence, summer. The return to work after a holiday weekend can make people very scatter brained — I do believe this is a technical medical term. Even the lead up to the holiday weekend can cause scatter brain to occur up to two days prior or more. The question is, how do we focus on the tasks at hand?
Here are some tips to stay focused pre and post-holiday, or anytime work gets hectic.
- Become Zen — When you arrive to work, before you get out of your car close your eyes and just breathe. Calm your brain. Forget about all the work that needs to get done. These few moments can prepare you mentally for your day. It also gets you into a much calmer state of mind and keeps you from feeling rushed.
- Focus your plan — When you sit down at your desk compile a list of everything that needs to be done today, tomorrow, this week, and finally, what needs to be done next week. Ordering your to-do list in this manner will help you prioritize your work. Once you have the work prioritized, you will feel much better about how your day is going to proceed from this point. Why? Because you have the start of a plan. And everybody loves it when a plan comes together.
- Disconnect from social media — The biggest deterrent to remaining focused is social media. I swear social media is capable of time travel. You start looking and while it only feels like five minutes, in fact you have been searching “Epic Fails” on YouTube for more than an hour. It is really an evil time traveling tool that only takes you into the future and benefits nobody, especially you or your client.
- Turn on some music — Background noise can be very distracting, i.e. construction and car alarms. The right background noise can be very helpful. According to a study by the Wake Forest School of Medicine and the University of North Carolina, listening to music you like helps you focus on your own thoughts and tasks.
- Take short breaks — Every now and then you will get stuck in a rut. Don’t just sit there and stare at your monitor hoping a miracle occurs and everything magically appears on the screen. Walk around and stretch. This helps in two ways; it will get you a little daily exercise and it can kick start your brain.
By using these five tips you can remain focused on important tasks. Your holidays or vacations will be that much more enjoyable knowing you have finished those projects.