Somehow you drug yourself out of bed at 5 am to capture those golden hours of the morning while the house is quiet. Determined to make progress on your top priorities, you take a seat at your desk.
Then you sit. Staring at a blinking cursor, and your mind replays the events of last weekend. Why did you discuss conspiracy theories with your friends at the BBQ? “Now they all think I’m a nut job. I need to call and apologize,” you say to yourself.
STOP! You’ve just spent ten minutes reliving last Saturday and you’ve made zero progress on the content calendar that’s due tomorrow. You did not get up before the sun for this.
You need to keep focus, but how?
Let’s look at some tactics to get you into that blissful flow state.
I’ll go first and admit I’ve eaten lunch at my desk more often than not during workdays. In the name of productivity, I’ve tried to cram everything into the few hours each day I have dedicated to work.
“Sitting for long periods of time can be detrimental to the body, but ultimately its how we position our body, our lack of postural alignment and the patterns of muscle tightness and imbalance that we have created in our physical structure throughout our lives that are putting our bodies at risk,” says Gloria Sevey owner of Therapeutic Massage and Detox. Instead of trying to release a tight back, Gloria advises to release your front and build your back. “Work on changing these structural issues and then sitting will no longer be the nemesis of our being, although I still recommend getting up every 30 minutes to stretch, realign and take several deep breaths”
Getting up to refill your hydro flask might be enough to get the creative juices flowing. Once a day squeeze in a short recess.
Remember, in second grade, how you felt walking back into the classroom after a few good rounds of tetherball? Your blood was pumping and mind was clear to jump into that next math lesson.
Why did we stop taking recess? Tetherball anyone?
I don’t have to tell you to silence your cell phone, but there are other distractions that can steal your focus.
In my office, I have to put my computer on, do not disturb to stop those pesky bings and pop-ups. Also, I share an office with hubby so his notifications get turned off too.
If the family is home (and this is more often than not thanks to Corona Virus) I will have to up my focus game. This calls for the big noise-canceling headphones that also signal to my family that I’m on DO NOT DISTURB mode. I prefer to play white noise and this app allows me to mix sounds to create to perfect way to tune out the world.
Want to discover the distractions that are killing your flow? Try this:
Next time you are at work when you notice something that breaks your train of thought, take note. At the end of your week, review those notes, and stop those distractions.
What about those thoughts that pop into your head? Like the comment from last weekend’s BBQ, you wish you could travel back through time and never say.
A Yogi would tell you to notice the thought and refocus. I’ll take it one step further. Create a system to park those thoughts so they stop traveling around your head.
If you want to dive deep into this idea, read “Getting Things Done” by David Allen.
You might think the key to getting more out of life is finding more time in a day. You’re WRONG. It’s about making your time work for you.
Don’t regret joining the 5 am club. Find your focus, turn that project in on time, and maybe enjoy an extra cup of coffee before the rest of the house stirs.
You don't have to chose between your personal and professional life. Here's my secret weapon for getting the family chaos to calm.