So in the previous post I started to elaborate on what it is I exactly do to stay on task and focused. The first step, often the hardest, is recognizing when I get distracted or off task. Most often, I notice it happening after lunch. When I recognize that I’m having trouble focusing, I practice some balanced breathing and reorient to my list of to-do items. One of the first things I do when I arrive at work each morning is to create a list of must accomplish tasks which I write in my bullet journal. If I’m especially tired, sleep-deprived or facing too many deadlines, it can be difficult to refocus. I may have to stop and reorient myself several times throughout the day. But with practice, that balanced breathing becomes like second nature. In essence, the balanced breathing balances out the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and as a result easier to maintain focus. It helps boost executive functioning in the brain.
Likewise, when I leave work, I use visual cues to remind myself that I’m leaving it and (literally) leaving work behind until the next business day. My commute home takes me through 2 counties. And when I encounter the road sign indicating I’ve reached our home county, I use that as a visual cue to separate myself mentally from work. It’s like a stop sign in my mind, reminding me to stop thinking or worrying about work because I’m now entering “home & family mode.” Sometimes I visualize driving through a barrier that all that work just can’t get through. When I am at home and pulled from the present moment by the lure of the internet, social media or other distractions, I physically close my laptop and put it away. That little action reminds me to focus on my family and what’s important.
All of these things take a lot of practice in order to make them habit and routine. But that practice is worth it! I essentially get to see and interact with my daughter just 2 hours a day during the work week. That’s how long I am home until she goes to bed. So I really want to maximize my time with both my daughter and my wife. Luckily my wife doesn’t go to bed at 7 pm. I encourage you to find what works for you so you can live every moment in the present. God Bless!
Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.