Today I wanted to do so many things at work, I just didn’t have the time!
The funny thing is, even though time was short, when someone else came and asked me for help I still went to help them. Why would I do that if I was already pressed for time? Because we all need distractions sometimes, especially when there is some external pressure!
You see, I already knew I couldn’t do everything today, there were going to be some things that just had to wait. I would do as much as I could handle and no more. While working on some routine reporting, I found it was feeling more and more difficult, even though the process hadn’t changed, my mood and capacity for managing the task had changed. Some people try to push themselves at this point, but I don’t any more as I have found in the past that it is easy to start making mistakes at this point.
When someone came and asked me for help on something else, that was almost like offering me a liferaft to escape the desert island of the task I was working on, so I took it. Even though it was still a sort of work, it let me stretch my brain in a different way and let go of the tension about the task I had left.
When I went back to that task, it was so much easier and I ended up much happier with the end results.
From the books I’ve been reading, it’s pretty clear that the mind craves novelty, so introducing a change when you find your focus diminishing can be a great way to get yourself back on track, it certainly worked for me.
Other times when I find my focus decreasing, I read a Trello blog post, or I try tackling some quick automation idea, or dealing with some emails, just something to take my mind away from what I’m working on.
Distractions can be a good thing sometimes, they were for me today!