Gig Tips: Focus and Concentrate!!

Do you sometimes feel like you are running in all directions and not getting anywhere?   Think of the roles that we play:  mother, spouse, co-worker, boss, subordinate, sister, daughter, friend….   and all the things that we are meant to do to be successful at each.

But this post is about being able to focus and concentrate at work…

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Do you find that you can’t help but let these kinds of thoughts creep into your head:

  • What are we going to have for dinner tonight?
  • Shit… I forgot to defrost something
  • What about my kids’ hives the other day?  Is this some sort of food allergy?
  • What do I need to do to get that promotion at work?
  • How am I going to get this stuff done by 5:00 PM when I have to rush out of here?
  • I wonder what is on TV tonight?
  • Will husband help me with the laundry?
  • This daydreaming has got to stop…. his body, his hands… his smell…  I want to get sweaty right now.   Wait a minute, are those kegels that I’m doing right now?
  • Let’s check my personal email again.   I know it’s been 15 minutes, but still…
  • I still need to order things for the kids for Halloween….
  • Shit we have 3 birthday parties this weekend….
  • ….
  • ….
  • ….

If you’ve come here thinking that I’m going to share my wisdom on how I focus at work, this is the wrong post for you baby.   I have been distracted lately with big work meetings, ramping up and ramping down, my personal love life heating up (think FIRE, think “talent”), the divorce process wearing on my patience, sick kids, and a draining bank account…. Work has been good for me at this time since these meetings are keeping me on track, a bit.  But still….

How to focus?  How to concentrate in the midst of all of this?   Maybe I’ll start a list and then lose my focus and come back to it (HA).    Sound like a plan?    Here it goes:

  • Write out a do-able list at the beginning of the day.  It has to be realistic, it has to be manageable.
  • Schedule meetings that need to be done that day and the next that will help you to push your work along.  My work is always dependent upon someone else at some point in time, so it’s important for me to carve out appointments in advance to give me a deadline to shoot for.
  • Turn off your personal email.
  • If really pressed, and if you can actually do this, turn off your work email too.
  • Get your desk organized.  Clear away clutter.
  • Get a big glass of water to refresh yourself.
  • Every 30 minutes or so, get up and stretch.  Walk away and take a break.  Then come back to what you are doing.
  • If something enters your mind that is distracting like a to-do item, write it down, or email it to yourself, etc. so that you feel like you’ve captured the thought but you can move on away from it.
  • Think about why it is that you are doing this particular task.  What is the end result?  What will be the impact?   How important is this?
  • Just get started.  Sometimes starting the effort is the hardest part.  Just dive in.

OK, I’m losing focus now and doing my kegels again (stop it!!!!).     I’ll turn back to this topic again, I promise.

In the meantime, what do you do at work to focus and concentrate on the work things that you need to do????  Please share!

Thanks for listening, and humoring me.  Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start!

– Mama K


  1. I’m a list person too! I have one of those Franklin planners where I have 2 full pages for each day. Every Sunday night, I transfer everything that didn’t get done into the new week and then see what else I have to do this week. It feels good to wake up Monday morning knowing what I have to do that week.
    And I agree about clearing off my desk. About once a month, I have to do a de-clutter thing as I’m the Queen of Piles and stuff always gets lost somewhere in those piles 🙂

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