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  • Writer's pictureDr. Lisa Gonzales

Staying Focused During the Pandemic

I can't be the only one living day to day and trying to stay focused on what's in front of me while so many distractions are around me. The media. The change in national leadership. Testing and vaccinations. Are we bring students back or not. Misinformation. Social media. I almost feel like I need a day off after writing and reflecting upon that list.

I've spent a lot of time talking to other leaders, particularly those I look up to. "How are you staying the course?" "How do you stay focused?" "What suggestions can you share?"

Set Daily Goals. The best advice I've been given is to identify the pressing projects and hone in on those activities with deadline. Identify the two or three "must do" items every day and block out time to get them done. Even on weekends, making a list of "nice to complete" items helps me feel accomplished and keeps the priorities in the forefront. And as others have recommended, these same lists are at work as well.

Manage it. By this, I don't mean allow the work to manage you - you manage the work. Make sure that when you endeavor to do is doable given the time and noise at work, especially if you are AT work. Looking at small pieces of a bigger project can enable you to have the wins along the way and keep treading in the forward direction.

Turn your cell phone off, turn it over, and put it on the other side of the room. Let's face it. Cell phones are a distraction. Block off time for work and work on the discipline to not check it while that work is being completed. No texting, no cruising Facebook, no checking the stock market. If you so choose, use it as the incentive when you are finished.

Take mental breaks. Don't sit too long, don't power on too long, and remember to walk around and get some air. Your mind will thank. If you are working at home, your dog will thank you. And if you are sitting long periods a day, your body will be grateful for the break so it can recharge and benefit from increase oxygen and blood flow.

Try monotasking. Every have just one thing to do and focus solely on that? My assistant laughs at me, but she gets it when she enters my office and finds me on the floor or in a corner. Moving to a different location to complete a project allow me to focus on just one thing in a different location as it resets my brain. I don't know why....but it works. Try it!

You probably have a few tasks that you can add to my list. It's not fully inclusive, but its a start!

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