It’s hard to take your mind off everything that is going on in the world at the moment, with cases rising and falling, people returning to work and working remotely. Things have changed drastically and our minds may or may not have had the time to adapt.
For those of us that have returned to work, it can be beneficial to find out what has helped to regain your focus, how you have managed so far or what could help. Here are out top 5 steps!
Step 1 - A new diary!
Get rid of your old one, you don’t need to be reminded of all the things that should have happened – it’s time to start fresh.
Making a plan or checklist of tasks that you need to complete by a certain date is a great way of managing your time efficiently. Especially when there has been no aspect of time during the lockdown period. It’s time to slowly switch ourselves back into our old ways and start building up a new routine. Using a diary will help you keep your focus as you document your own goals to work towards.
Step 2 - Avoiding Distractions
Working from home can mean more distractions, however, it can also mean less, depending on your situation. If you have children, there are many ways to let them know that you are busy (although this may not work all of the time). Some parents have tried out the great idea of a “concentration hat”. When the hat is worn, it means concentration time and they must not be distracted. This could be a great way of getting your children involved and allowing them to understand when they can and can not distract you.
Make sure you have a suitable place to work and everyone around you is aware that you are busy! Create a space where you are going to be able to fully concentrate without any distractions and gather all of your equipment – pens, paper, laptop, charger, anything you need before starting your work for the day.
Step 3 - Save socials for later
Do you ever have a quick peek at your socials whilst in the middle of a piece of work? Or do you give yourself a little Instagram break during a busy day? Well this is not going to help you work towards a productive day.
Turn your notifications off during work hours. You could be distracted by one notification which leads to you reading something for half an hour! The point is to not let it get you. Turn all your notifications off unless it is important. You need to give each of your scheduled tasks your undivided attention in order to successfully complete them all.
Step 4 - Stick to a schedule
Each morning, create yourself a daily schedule. It is best to prepare your day and write down everything that needs to be done, this way you can tick off each task as you complete it. This will make your time management more efficient and it will create more of a goal to work towards each day. Give yourself realistic deadlines that are possible for you to complete – you don’t want to cause unnecessary stress for yourself. If you know a task will take you longer than an hour, allow yourself to schedule a bigger time slot so you can keep up to date with your work. The key way to stay focused is to take regular glances of your schedule so you know exactly where you are up to with your day.
Step 5 - Self Care
If you are working from home, create yourself a dedicated workspace that you are going to enjoy spending time in. Make sure you keep your working space clean – a messy desk can be distracting. Try and go for regular walks – on your lunch break, take a quick stroll or squeeze in an at-home workout. Most people find that taking a break from your screen and moving your body will help regain focus later.
Regardless of working from home or in the office, stock yourself up with healthy and nutritious snacks to keep you going throughout the day – swap those unhealthy chocolate biscuits for energy boosting alternatives such as fruit and save your chocolate biccies for a well deserved treat.
Bring sentimental belongings in from home and have them on your desk – it could be a picture of your loved ones or anything that makes you feel happy. If you are ever feeling stressed at work, taking a look at it may give you that push to continue with your day.
It hasn’t been easy for many of us during the transition of going back to work and getting ourselves back into our normal routine prior to COVID-19. Everyone is on their own journey in getting back to how they used to be, hopefully these useful tips will help anyone that needs them along the way.