If you’re like me, you’ve struggled for the last month or more to figure out what to do next. And why did I lose my ability to prioritize and focus on what’s important? Here are three of the things that have helped me to recenter and take action:
Even as an introvert who loves being alone, I’m finding that being forced to stay home brings out a need to connect with others! So, I do one of the following every day – talk to a client or co-worker, network with someone new on Zoom, have a long, positive conversation with someone in my family, attend a networking or educational event online or call a friend. Communicating with others helps to ground me and bring me back to the present. It often reminds me of what is important right now and can pull me away from negativity. Sharing with others the experiences we’re having is cathartic. Telling our story and empathizing with others takes away some of the endless chatter in our minds because we get to say it out loud. Please connect with someone today.
I’ve always wanted to incorporate meditation into my daily schedule, and a pandemic with orders to stay home every day seemed like a good time to finally do it. Currently, I meditate at least 5 minutes, usually in the morning. I use an app on my phone called Insight Timer that is free and easy to use. It has guided meditations, music, and the ability to set up your own timed meditations. I find that meditating helps me to block out some of the daily overwhelm and just be. I still have thoughts that enter my mind, sometimes without realizing it. When I become aware of them, I push them away and go back to focusing on the music or voice guiding me. Meditation isn’t about having perfect silence in your mind; it’s about centering yourself and for a moment letting go of the thoughts and things that tend to run your life. I encourage you to try adding a one-minute meditation to your day and see what happens.
Daily Top Priorities
Each day, or the night before, I decide on my top priorities. This list cannot be more than 3 things. And no, you can’t cheat and have a list for work and a list for home each with 3 things. Got that? I know…I have a hard time sticking to 3 as well. But I find that if I don’t limit myself, then inevitably I don’t get the whole list done, and I feel like a failure. If I keep the list to 3 at the most, and I’m realistic about how much time I actually have that day, I am successful most of the time. Imagine how that can boost your self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment when you made a list and finished everything. It’s invigorating and sometimes leads to even more productivity and accomplishment! Remember – no more than 3 things.
If you’d like more guidance on focusing during this unusual time, here are some helpful resources:
From Ellen Faye, Productivity Leadership Coach – Is Your Productivity Tanking? There’s a Reason For That.
From Forbes – How to Focus on Your Work When All You Can Think About Is COVID-19: Five Simple Steps