How Parents Can Find Focus
A parent’s life is never quiet! You have kids demanding, screaming, squealing, crying, and playing at home, so it’s even more difficult for parents to find focus and peace of mind.
One way to get focus to work for your life as parents is to separate your roles. Assign them to different days or weeks and focus on each role one at a time. For instance, you have to wake up early in the morning before the kids wake up and focus on yourself. Run, jog, walk, read a book, do yoga, or indulge in your creative side by drawing or writing.
Once the kids wake up, prepare them for school while you prepare for work, pack lunches, and more. But this time, focus on being a parent and give time to talk to your kids.
Before the morning ends, go to work and focus on work alone.
In the afternoon, you can finish all household duties, or finish work, depending on which is more important.
In early evening, focus on yourself once more while your kids finish homework.
In the late evening, tuck your kids in bed. Read to the young ones, if you can.
These are only a few examples of what parents can do to focus. Learn to schedule things so you won’t get off track. However, be flexible enough to accommodate last minute changes. Deal with these surprises and interruptions instead of stressing over them.
Parents with babies and toddlers might struggle even more because these young children are more demanding. The best thing that you can do is to share the work between both parents. When one is watching the child, the other one should take a break. During your break, take your time to go for a walk, read, exercise, and engage in your hobbies.
It helps if you take naptimes. Cherish the quiet times, before your child wakes up and when your child is asleep.
You may also want to get professional help, send your child to day care, let the grandparents help in babysitting, or entrust the child to a reliable niece or nephew. Even if these means paying for babysitting services, it would be worth it if it means you getting some peace and quiet.
If you’re the type of parent who is used to being disconnected, you might not be able to focus on your child. You might start by taking a few seconds off your bonding time with your child to check an email or a text message, answer a call, or log in to social networks. But this kind of behavior will teach your child how your distractions are more important than they are.
While many parents are guilty of this, you can fight it by always being conscious of what you’re doing. Take precautions against such distractions by turning off your phone, deactivating notifications, and living the moment with your child.
How Different People Can Focus
In order to be a productive worker, you need to handle distractions well and learn the art of focusing on important things.
If you’re working in the service industries, the following tips might help:
- When you serve your customers, do that and that alone. Be fully present when you do your job and disregard other problems, emails, or mobile phone.
- Deal with one customer at a time.
- Try to find time to refocus in the middle of your work. Clear distractions or an hour or so.
- Learn to let go of some tasks on hand by automating them, delegating them, posting an FAQ section on your site, outsourcing help, or breaking down the services.
- Be focused in your personal life. Learn to disconnect once you’re off work and find peace of mind.
To avoid interruptions from your co-workers or staff as a boss, you might want to take note of these pointers:
- Don’t make the decisions all by yourself. Let others do it too. Set parameters on when to interrupt you for decision-making.
- Schedule your unavailability. Set times when you are not to be interrupted.
- Appoint a second-in-command to help you make decisions.
- Set expectations as to when people can interrupt you when you’re working.
- Focus on every problem and every interruption that comes your way.
- Focus on life outside of work and enjoy the peace and quiet while indulging in your creative hobbies and interests.
But how do you deal with your boss, if he or she is the source of your problem? Your boss might expect you to answer your calls, texts, or emails, to pull off long hours, or to work overnight. You have to deal with your boss by doing these things:
- Discuss your desire to focus with your boss. Convince him or her about how finding focus will improve your creativity and productivity.
- Determine the factors that you can control and those that you can’t. Change those controllable factors to help you focus. For instance, you can clear your desk or computer desktop. If you can’t do away with ignoring emails, at least don’t distract yourself by surfing the web.
- Try to work out of the office. If you have the liberty to work at home or anywhere else without distractions, do so.
- Show your boss that all these changes to find focus really work.
- Find another job. If your boss doesn’t approve of your pursuit of focus, consider changing jobs.
If you do find unsupportive people around, people who do not approve of all the changes that you want to make to find focus, don’t force them. Let them understand how important it is for you to be able to focus. Make sure to ask for their help. If you can’t convince them with words, show them an example. Show them how the changes you planned to find focus will work. Settle with the changes that you can make, with the lack of support of other people.
How to Change Office Culture
Modern offices boast of being productive and efficient. However, workers are constantly interrupted by distractions, from emails and IMs to calls, calendar requests, meetings, and office chatter. All these distractions cause information overload and stress. They might even end up doing nothing at the end of the day, while paying attention to a lot of distractions.
You can create a more productive environment at work if you advise the employees to do these things:
- Tell them to figure out what to do for the day and settle with 3-5 important tasks. They should do this first thing in the morning.
- They should clear their desks and tune out all distractions to work on the first important task.
- They can devote about 30 minutes of your day to go through email and voicemail.
- They should focus on completing the rest of the tasks, with few interruptions.
- They should meet with you to look back on their day, discuss problems, and settle what tomorrow’s tasks should be.
- They should wear headphones to drown out distractions.
- They can work at home for about two days per week, but make them report to you all the tasks that they have finished for the day.
- They should learn how to disconnect, starting with your effort to shut down the Internet for a few hours every day.
Soon enough, all these changes will accumulate to major changes that will help you and even the people around you find focus. Just make sure to show them how it should be done.