How to Focus on Work Again When You’re Just Not Into it

Updated on September 2nd, 2016
ReFocus

Taking breaks, using a standing desk and working in short spurts can help you to focus better at work but sometimes it’s not enough. If you find yourself off track lately, here are some tips to reboot your attention.

1. Find new people to follow on social media

I recently wrote about how to get back on track when you don’t feel like working. While you may like what you do, sometimes you just need to get a dose of motivation or listen to someone who has a new approach to work. Find inspiring video snippets on YouTube, Periscope or Facebook Live. You can hear a new perspective that might be enough to hit the refresh button when it comes to getting back into work. If you don’t want to leave finding a new person to follow up to the search engines when you look, ask for recommendations from people you know. 

2. Do an informal mastermind

Partner up with a friend or colleague. Set goals or bounce ideas off of each other on a regular basis. Figure out if you want to chat once a week or once a month. If you can’t commit to that, Facebook groups are an easy way to compare notes on a set day. This way both people don’t have to be there at a set time but can still check in at some point during the day. It’s also an easier, organized way to have multiple people join in as well.

If you want to have a specific focus, pick something everyone in the group wants to improve upon. Maybe you’re all looking to get better at online marketing, creating an online course or just figuring out how to invoice more effectively. Follow a podcaster or a bunch of different podcasts with similar topics. Each week someone in the group can pick an episode that everyone has to listen to that week. You can then comment, discuss takeaways and decide what you plan to implement after listening.

3. Take baby steps

Sometimes when we have a deadline looming or we know that we have to work on a big project, we can get overwhelmed quickly. Tack on a multitude of distractions like beautiful weather, text messages and watching the Olympics, it can feel like a full scale attack against our work efforts. If you’ve lost command of your focus, consider breaking all of the tasks you need to do into simple steps. Set a timer and reward yourself at the twenty minute mark especially if you’re working on a laptop, tablet, etc. It’s a good time to give your eyes a break.

It’s a clear cut plan of execution that might be all you need to regain your normal productivity level. Also, adjust your internal dialogue and tell yourself that you will at least accomplish x in the time period given. For that duration of time, you will have to fend off any distractions. Once finished, celebrate your small win and snatch a little break. Look out of the window, stow some healthy treats in your desk for a quick snack or go get yourself a latte. Battle the urge to check email and don’t respond to text messages right away if you don’t have to.

The Bottom Line

Everyone loses their focus from time to time. If you find yourself drifting when your attempts to complete work fail, try the tips above to get your focus back. You’re head will be back in the game at work before you know it.

 

Karen Cordaway

Karen Cordaway

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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