The recent pandemic has taken over every aspect of our lives forcing many (or the lucky ones who still have a job) of us to work remotely. The distractions are always within easy reach. Many of us are feeling unable to focus when we all are meant to be working. Our mind constantly be perpetually wandering as we don’t used to new surroundings which we only know from our day to day life, but not from working in it! So what we can do about it?

First and foremost, you are not imagining it – your focus has been affected by the pandemic. The Anxiety and stress have fluctuated above expected averages which can have a long term and severe effect on your own concentration and wellbeing. Due to some stress or level of anxiety you may not sleep well, then there are also financial worries as well as the fact that you don’t know how to work remotely and constant thoughts in your head that you may fail doing your work.

Back when you worked in the office you had holidays so it was easier to shift your mind and change environment, load your batteries, but with current climate you are not able to go anywhere, you can only be at your house which can seriously impact your wellbeing. This cognitive load is building up all the time, think of your brain as of a computer with tons of tasks to process. If you need to get some work done you absolutely need to focus.

So, you’ll ask – what can I do to actually focus on my work?

A famous technique you might try to implement to your life is called the pomodoro technique, it is named after the tomato shaped timer its inventor Francesco Cirillotomato used to demonstrate it. The technique breaks down all lathe tasks into short timed intervals, you basically work for 25 minutes on given task non stop then you take a break for 5 minutes – a pomodoro. After four pomodoros, take an extended break for about 15 minutes as a reward. During your short 5 minute breaks, don’t even think about work, this is the time for your brain to focus on other aspects, other worries and other non related things you might be worried about. You are effectively teaching your brain how to focus on certain stuff for certain, dedicated time periods.

Another useful technique is to stay in tune the times of the day that you find yourself productive in. This if you are morning or evening person, when are you the most efficient? Then dedicate your “peak” period to do all the most important work as you will be the most productive within these periods of time. Once your peak times comes, you have the “super power” to focus and work for 60 to 90minutes on sharp dedication.

The main point is to learn these periods and analyse them, then put them into your work ethics. For example, your head might be clearest between 8am and 12pm, and less clear between 2pm and 5pm, this is where you feel that you want to be more sociable, use this time to book your calls and any team meetings. It is all about knowing when you are the most energetic and using this time to maximum effect – you need to learn your preferences and create patterns which will only work for you.

It is also important that you keep working time to daily hours and you do not invent new or longer working hours as these will affect your personal life and wipe the boundary between your work and private life.

As a final tip, make sure you work away from distractions like personal TV, social media, TV, radio and so on, let in loads of natural light, but avoid tit to glare straight in your face as this will give you headaches, feel free to take frequent walks which will help you to clear your mind. Make sure all your social gatherings outside work are happening OUTSIDE working hours. Put your computers away in the evenings to teach your brain to not get involved into the work in the time which should be dedicated to getting ready for sleep.

Above all that, look after yourself, make sure you sleep well, think about meditation and be positive, always upwards and forwards.

Please feel free to let me know in comments section below on how you are fighting with distractions.

All the best,


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