While there are many productivity hacks and ways that you can work more effectively, sometimes you can completely lose focus and find it hard to get back to work altogether. If you have recently taken a vacation, desperately need one or find yourself off-task for whatever reason, here are some tips to get back on track.

1. Take regular vacation time

A recent poll by NPR shows that roughly 50% of Americans who work 50 hours a week do not take all of their vacation time or even a large portion of it. Plan vacations on a regular basis. If you returned from a trip and realized you need to escape more often, start planning another vacation or weekend getaway. This way you know you have something in the near future to look forward to and you will have a big incentive to get all of your work done.

 

2. Try to network in fun atmospheres

Maybe you have to find a way to mix business and pleasure or just have more fun when it comes to anything work-related. Attend meetups, networking events or fundraisers that allow you to socialize with professionals while still incorporating an element of fun. Many co-working spaces invite members to events or some conferences even host karaoke to keep things light and fun. Look into ones that aren’t so serious or boring.

 

3. Join an accountability group

I recently joined an informal accountability group via Facebook. Once a week the administrator posts a dated thread and the members of the group write about what they have committed to doing for the week. We also have to report how many items we completed from the week before. For example, if we wrote down 3 items that we said we would complete, we’d write, “I completed 2 out of 3 items from last week.” Sometimes we include why we didn’t finish. I find that I keep my commitments more so when I post it in this group. My ego can’t handle saying I didn’t do what I set out to do so I make sure I do it.

 

4. Reward yourself daily

If you recently took a vacation, it can be hard to maintain the same kind of focus you had prior to going especially if you won’t do anything as nearly exciting for awhile. This could be a sign that you need to incorporate more fun into your life on a regular basis. Maybe you catch up with your favorite shows on Netflix or go for a walk near the water. Think about incorporating something like this into your daily schedule. This way you know that at the end of your work day, you get to do something that you really like and feel as though your life isn’t just work, work, work.
5. Enhance your work space

Maybe you make your work space more inviting by incorporating some Feng shui ideas. Lighting and how you position the furniture in your office space can go a long way to help your productivity. If you rather make a few small changes, maybe you can just purchase new office supplies. A new pen, a brightly colored notebook or a folder with a cool pattern may give you a little boost of motivation, even if it’s just temporary.

If you’re able, get a change of scenery by working outdoors, in a co-working space or go to a new coffee shop. Sometimes I pick a location based on where I know I can walk right afterwards. So not only do I add novelty to my work environment, I incorporate a “reward” after I finish my work. I stay more focused and feel happier in general.

 

The Bottom Line

We all have times when we feel like we can’t focus as well as we normally do. Consider following some of the tips mentioned to get back on course. Even employing one of these might be all you need to so.

 

Karen is a Nationally Syndicated Personal Finance Writer who sharpens her skills at US News Money. You can also find her placing clients on podcasts and reading about home office organization, productivity and habits.

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