Suffering from Lack of Focus? 3 Tips to Get You Back on Track

As I write this, it’s the end of the year, and, at least where I am, that means it’s colder, it’s dark by 5 p.m., and holiday vacation is within sight. For me, this usually leads to a lack of focus and productivity. As we enter slump season, I’ve been doing a bit of thinking and strategizing around what I can do to pull myself out of it and back into midsummer form. Here are a few examples of what I’ve been doing.

Changing Your Environment

Maybe you’re back in an office, maybe you’re working exclusively from home, or maybe it’s a mix of both. Regardless, you’re likely working in the same spot regularly. A simple and effective change I’ve made recently is just working in a new environment every so often. Sometimes it’s just a different room or spot in my apartment for the week. Other times, it’s finding a new part of the office to work from for a few hours. No matter what though, it’s helped me reset, and helps break the monotony that can plague me this time of year.

Changing Work Hours

If you’re fortunate enough to have flexible work hours as I do, I suggest trying to take advantage of them. What’s really helped me on days where focusing has been difficult is taking longer breaks throughout the day. I work in smaller blocks and try harder to be productive outside of the hours I’d normally work. There’s something to be said for sitting down to work on something at 7 a.m. or 8 p.m. You don’t have to worry as much about incoming Slack messages or imminent meetings. And similarly to a change of environment, working at a different time than usual can be the kind of change that will address your lack of focus.

Reaching Out

Probably the most important tip of any I could give is reaching out to team members/coworkers to help get out of your slump. This could look like directly informing someone about how you’re feeling and then working with them to figure it out. Or, it could just be a request to pair up and work closely with somebody for a while to keep yourself feeling busy and productive. I find it much easier to focus on something with the accountability that comes with pairing on a task with somebody.

I recognize that these aren’t revolutionary or new ideas for feeling productive or maintaining your focus. However, I have found them to be simple, and trying them out doesn’t take much effort. These practices don’t add any complexity to deal with on top of any existing problems I might have. If you’re anything like me, that can be a valuable detail when it comes to addressing issues such as lack of focus. I encourage anyone to put these ideas at the front of their mind as slump season continues and see how they might help you out.