What to Do When You Can’t Focus

Staying Focused
Staying Focusing

Do you know what to do when you can’t focus? Sometimes it can feel as if you can never find focus – you just can’t seem to get anything done without being totally distracted. And finding a way to get back on track is unnerving and overwhelming.

I’ve been there recently. There is just so much going on that I just seemed to lose the ability to concentrate.  I just finished a huge marketing project in our local area, the Easter Holiday is coming up (which means Spring break for the school system), it is also now officially spring and this means that my yard needs some work too. I’m also prepping for my first week away from family in almost 6 years (and while that is very exciting, it is scary too). And business is growing!!  It is all great stuff – there is just so much of it (I am smiling!)

Just today, I decided that enough is enough.  I had to sit down and think through it all. I needed to walk through my priorities and evaluate what needed to be done. I needed to do exactly what I talk to all of my clients about…separate my “Needs, Wants and Have To” list and work from there forward.

Priority is obviously my “Have To” list. The most important things on this list is to book my plane took and hotel room for my trip! That will be done in the next 24 hours! The next things on my “Have To” list all involve business. Following up with clients, potential clients and scheduling. This is all important for my business. And, that will also be done within the next 24 hours also.

What to do when you can’t focus? What is the best way to stop feeling overwhelmed about everything that is on your list? Let’s take a peek at some ways to adapt and overcome these feelings.

  • Delete all of your distractions. It is important to work in an area that is conducive to work. Sometimes, I will leave my home office and go to a quiet place to work. I’m fortunate enough to know the owner of a Meeting Room with secure wifi where I can have a private office to totally concentrate on what needs to be done. If working away from your home office allows you to be more productive, make sure that you go somewhere that is quiet. While I love going to the local coffee shop to work, it is not always productive because too many of my business associates can walk in and out and I just may have to seem rude – to avoid distractions.
  • Make your list. Of course, a list is important. But, the list must be prioritized. Avoid making a list and then cherry-picking the list with the things that you really “want” to do. Prioritize your list by deadlines, importance and the potential cost involved (if you put it off). Check off the “Have To” items first.
  • Take scheduled breaks to feed your brain. While you may seem to be on a roll and uber-productive, it is important that you take some scheduled breaks to grab a snack or lunch. Munching on some protein bars, drinking a glass of water or just grabbing a piece of fruit can help generate your creativity and focus.

The loss of focus is usually a temporary issue – and generally because of an upcoming event, issue or that we have just over obligated ourselves. Don’t stress….face it and move forward!

Linda Clevenger

Organization Direct