Remaining focused regardless of what’s going on around us is vital for success. But sometimes, staying on a routine that encourages focus is near impossible. Especially now, when so many of us are telecommuting or meeting virtually and have distractions of kids, dogs, televisions, etc. So, how do we focus and move forward amid the chaos?
First, we acknowledge that 2020 has thrown a lot of curveballs at all of us. But, chaos in our lives is not an extraordinary thing. Unexpected life-changing events happen all the time. It’s how we handle our mindset that determines success or failure through change.
Here are some tips to help you refocus for success in a chaotic world.
Find Your New Normal
We must define our new normal before we can create a new routine that encourages success. Use a journal to write down what has changed in your life since the pandemic began. How do those changes affect your workday? What can you do to rearrange your work schedule and change your mindset to avoid new distractions? Which changes are permanent and which are temporary? Are future changes expected? How can you handle those changes when they occur?
Once we understand our current situation, we can identify what may happen in the future. We can then begin putting together a game plan to embrace our present and plan for future barriers.
Changing Mindset Encourages Success
There are two types of mindsets: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. A fixed mindset reacts to changes by becoming frightened or angry—the disruption in their routine short circuits their brain. A growth mindset looks for advantages and opportunities that surface because of the change.
Most of us lean towards a fixed mindset. To change a fixed mindset towards growth, we must first be aware of how we react to change. Are we angry, sad, indifferent? If so, consider the event that solicits the adverse reaction and find reasons the event is an opportunity. For example, slowdowns in workflow open the opportunity to learn new things and develop new skills. A slowdown is not a precursor for losing your job. Instead, it is an opportunity for promotion or a better job.
Mindsets will not change overnight, but with practice, change becomes an opportunity.
Identify and Plan for Distractions in Your Daily Routine
Once our new normal is accepted, and we embrace the opportunities that arise from change, we can focus on the day-to-day. One of the most significant changes is how we move through the day.
Identify times of the day when distractions occur. Try and schedule lunch or breaks during those times so that you can enjoy the distraction instead of experiencing frustration because of it. Some people find that scheduling activities that don’t require full brainpower, like scanning emails and social media, is a productive solution during times of high distraction.
If you are working from home and have family around, defining a new normal for you and the family will be necessary. Ensure your workspace is away from the family hub and schedule office hours when you cannot be interrupted. It’s essential to enforce the office hours because everyone in your house will try and interrupt until they know you mean business.
Remember Your Vision to Remain Focused on Success
Cal Newport said, “The ability to stay focused will be the superpower of the 21st Century. It’s true. Even without a pandemic and a world of telecommuting, there are distractions of email, social media, late-breaking news; I could go on and on. The superpower is having the ability to ignore the majority of the distractions and bring the focus back when we cannot ignore them.
Many successful people believe their morning ritual is key to their success. Through affirmations, meditation, and keeping a gratitude journal, they keep their focus by remembering their vision. Whether you have a morning ritual or not, keep your vision close and remind yourself why focusing on your goal is important.
Consider starting a vision board and placing it above your workspace. Every time you feel discouraged or lack focus, look at your board. It will help you remember your “why” and get you back on track.
This may be the only pandemic we live through in our lives, but it will not be the last significant change we experience. Use this time to learn how to embrace change as a positive event regardless of how life-altering the change appears. How we handle change will determine how effectively we stay on course to succeed.