A full-time job can be stressful at the best of times, which is why it’s so important for all people to take care of themselves from day to day. While ‘hustle culture and active Instagram entrepreneurs tend to glamorize the idea of never sleeping, or sleeping little, dedicated every hour to the office, and taking risks at all hours of the day, the truth is that anyone who approaches that kind of lifestyle is sure to crash and burn sooner rather than later.
For this reason, a sustainable approach to our career is always worth taking, rather than hoping to achieve everything you’ve ever wanted in the span of one month. Your physical and mental health are more important than anything else you own, but we have to make sure we care for it appropriately.
If you’re having a tough time focusing at work, it may be that there’s a deeper issue you’re not addressing. It’s unlikely that the best response is – “well, you should work harder,” rather taking a look at the causes behind such a state of mind will be revealing. Let’s consider to what degree you can make those improvements.
How Are Your Stress Levels?
Exposure to stressful situations and circumstances is sometimes unavoidable. However, it’s good to have a strategy in place that helps you deal with the experience of stress exposure, helping you better express it.
For some people, meditation is that outlet. Mindfulness meditation can help you feel renewed after a session, and also has the benefit training your concentration and focus in a peaceful setting. Limiting your alcohol intake, getting better sleep by heading to bed at the same times and working on your sleep hygiene, and sometimes, changing your circumstances if possible (such as defending yourself at work and reporting an untoward manager) is essential.
You don’t have to suffer the burden of immense stress even if your work often puts you in contact with it. Having a robust self-care routine line this in place can make all the difference.
How Are Your Nutrition & Hydration?
If you’re undereating, or eating the wrong foods such as high-sugar, high-carb and nutritionally lacking ingredients, then your body is unable to heal as well from the rigors of day to day life as is appropriate.
This is why eating a diet with appropriate proteins (perhaps through vegan means if this is suitable to you), healthy fats, complex carbs and leafy green vegetables is so important. If you have time, packing your own lunches from day to day, eating fruit, and drinking plenty of water can be appropriate.
It may be that lessening your coffee intake throughout the day can be a good way to avoid those constant highs and crashes. You can still get a smoother caffeine hit through drinking alternatives like green tea and matcha, which taste great but provide a little less of the rush you’re thinking of.
What Are Your Working Conditions Like?
In some cases, the lack of focus we may have is quite clear to identify. Working from home, for instance, while your littles ones run around your feet, can be a tough ask for anyone.
However, it’s also true that certain conditions may make your day to day working experience harder to grapple with. If you continually feel overheated or freezing because of poor ventilation in your part of the office or at home, it’s worth raising this issue and looking for a fix. At work, this might be volunteering to move to a different part of the office, at home, it may mean implementing a new fan, air filter, or reorienting the office so that sunlight doesn’t shine into your eyes for three hours a day.
Of course, sometimes your working conditions can be tough to focus on. If constant inter-office bickering and gossip seem to be taking your mind away from the task at hand, it’s worth reporting any mistreatment, and trying to remove yourself from those conversations. If you have any worthwhile complaints, don’t be afraid to voice them, as most modern managers value a stable working environment.
Are You Overworked?
It might just be that you’re overworked and despite the thorough value you bring to the company. If you’ve been filling in for the roles of those who’ve already left, or you’re constantly being asked to do overtime, then it’s essential to voice your concerns and document your working hours.
Again, sometimes, the best thing we can do for ourselves is really focus on finding a good work/life balance. Your health will thank you for it.
With this advice, we hope you can not only become to focus easier at work, but more importantly, feel better and more capable regardless of your employment terms.