As we established in our last article: being able to concentrate on what matters and being able to stay focused is a skill you really need to work on. You will get more done and improve the quality of anything you do.
Did you have the chance to look at your patterns of concentration during the usual workday? If not, you can go back to this exercise shared in our last blogpost.
If you consistently note your experience with focus for at least a week, you will begin to see some patterns. What is helping you to concentrate and deliver your best work? What is your biggest pitfall? What causes you loosing concentration? Which are your best 2-4 hours of focused work during the workday? Which are the notoriously unfocused times?
Did you know that research shows that our most productive times are usually after 2 hours of waking up? This productive period lasts for 2 hours approximately. So if you wake up at 7am, you can hope for a focused work time between 9-11am. Which would be in line with the typical workday begin at least in the office. This suggest that we need to get to the workplace in less than 2 hours of waking up.
How is your morning shaping up? When do you wake up? What is happening in the first 2 hours after waking up? Is this one of the most stressful period of your day?
When do you get to the office? What do you do spend those 2 hours after arriving? How do you spend the morning? Do you check email, chat to your co-workers or get a coffee? Write everything down to get the awareness of what is really happening with your time. you know, awareness is the first step in any changing process.
Now the next step is to identify what would need to change in order for you to invite more concentration into your morning.
Here are a few suggestions for the time before you get to the office:
–get to bed early the night before so you can wake up easier and on time the next morning. This might mean cutting back on TV…. and might be just the best action step for you!
–create streamlined habits for the 1st hour of the morning. This might mean systemizing what you wear. Getting your clothes out and ready to wear in the morning – do this the evening before. Pick your 3 most loved breakfast choices and only prepare those. Don’t need to get creative with your breakfast every morning. If you love smoothies, gather and prepare all the ingredients the evening before. What if the whole family could agree on only one breakfast choice?
–use your commuting time for learning or relaxation. You could listen to audiobooks or podcasts on the way to the office. Or simply but consciously take calming, deep breaths while sitting in your car. And yes, do listen to fun stuff. Laughing out loud is the best relaxation!
In the next installment of this series we will talk about how to make your workday more focused.