How to Overcome or Deal with Lack of Focus
BY: JASMINE MILUM
Reading time: 4 minutes
When things aren’t going smoothly at work, what typically ends up being the reason? For many, it is a lack of focus. Oddly, lack of focus can mean a lot of different things but always results in one overall theme: you not being the best you. There are ways to overcome the feeling that comes with not being focused but it takes practice, consistency, and effort to sharpen it. For the past two months, I battled with myself back and forth with keeping my eye on the prize. With a collaboration of therapy, discussions, rest and these steps, I was able to get back into the game and stay sharp. And girl, am I glad to be back!
We’re technically at step two. Because you’re reading this, you’ve already sought out information to get better focus, so that means you've completed step one, acknowledging that you can do better! (You go, girl!) Now let’s discover where and in what ways do you need better focus. When we map it out, we can see that the issues can go in two directions; being unfocused at work (distracted) or having a loss of focus on your end goal in general (unmotivated). For me, it was the former that resulted in the latter. When my job became more mundane and got further and further from my original job description, I began to doubt if I was even built for my dreams. I didn’t think I was good at my title anymore. It wasn’t that I stopped getting praise for my work, or was ever told that I was bad at my job. I got pulled in other directions for other projects. I couldn’t continue my side hustles and could never seem to do the parts of my job that I was in love with. For others, it’s reversed. Because they've lost sight on their end goals, they can't seem to find the energy to put into their daily tasks at work. It’s hard to do your job when you don’t see the purpose anymore. In school, we knew the goal was to get to the next grade. For over 12 consistent years of our lives, that's how we were programmed. Then in college, the goal was to get a job. If you have work full time and even if it’s what you love, the wonder of what’s next begins to fade as we get into monotonous routines. That results in a lack of motivation. Without it, there is nothing to focus on.
Thankfully, we know that doesn’t have to be an absolute truth. We can get back to our goals and even dream up new ones, again, with time and effort. We have to start by remembering why. Flashback to your first day at work. What thoughts are attached to your emotions from your first day? Were you feeling excited at the thought of getting more income? Were you feeling nervous at the thought of meeting new people? I remember feeling confident at the thought of showing off my skills as well as grateful at the thought of getting a job in my field. Remembering the thoughts and meanings behind the feeling is key here because they are aligned with your goals. This holds true even if you were feeling despondent at the thought of settling with an offer, meaning your goals were never actually met. Write your thoughts from your first day down on a piece of paper.
Next, look ahead on your future last day. What does it feel like? Why? Base your imagination on your current standings, actions, and mindsets. Now think about what you would prefer your last day to look like. Are they different? Similar? Write that down as well. Congrats! You now have a fresh set of goals! Whether you’re imagining leaving in peace to a new company, running out the door to break free, or not even leaving at all, you now have actions to consider to make that dream happen.
Now that we have new ambitions for ourselves, we have to do the tough part: stay ambitious. To stay focused, there are three ways to stay consistent that happen to result in great “transferable skills.” To stay focused try to:
Take time in your day every day to imagine your accomplished goals. You know your schedule, so whether its 10 minutes in the morning, 5 minutes every lunch break, or 1 hour before bed, do what fits you. Start your imagination in a place of isolation and just think. I did this daily and stayed as consistent as possible with the time, location and length of my thinking. Eventually, you will get to a point where this peaceful self-time to think about your future is a form of Meditation. You don't need absolute silence to begin or an hour wearing fresh linens in a park. Just start and reflect on your goals daily.
Take what’s in your head and discover it on this physical Earth. Either by yourself or with friends, build a vision board. But first, relax. You don't need to spend $50 at Joanne’s to start. For me, this journey was personal so I started by making a private finsta. I screen grabbed images from all over to bring my goals to vision. Once you get your coordination and visualize your goals, you can pat yourself on the back, you’ve already completed something! I felt amazing when I scrolled through my 15-row page. The time, details, captions and organization that I put into this project for myself was the first full project I had completed in a while. Once you do too, you can scratch off procrastination and add Tasking back to your internal resume. You’re almost there, girl!
It’s time to get cheesy! Pull out those post-it notes ladies, we’re going full-blown ‘Being Mary Jane’! You’ve thought it, you’ve seen it, now you have to say it, proudly too. I DIY’d the cutest marble-pink post-it notes and taped them to my planner. I couldn't start a day without looking at them. This hack is shared so often because when you humble yourself, it really can work. Try putting them in different places you pay attention to and say it not only in the morning but every time you see it. This is what changed it all for me. It’s easy to act motivated when brushing your teeth. We lose focus at the times we least expect it. This way, it's almost impossible to lose sight. To avoid boredom, switch the goals up to be more broad or specific every couple of weeks. I’m giving you your flowers today for the Routine you’ll master from this practice!
I don’t think there has ever been a point where I’ve been more focused than I am now, and nothing about my circumstances have changed. I'm at the same job I've been at for the last 8 months. I have the same exact team. Same car, same apartment, same friends and family. The difference in my goals is that I started to Believe it. The only person that didn't believe in me was me. I had to train my brain and sharpen my focus to then stay focused and today I’m still going strong. You can do this. No matter how far from the target you are or what others may believe. Put the effort in the right things that make you the best you, and you’ll be unstoppable. We love to see it!
Jasmine is a Social Media Manager in Dayton, Ohio. She has experience in digital marketing and public relations. Jasmine has been in the corporate world since May 2018. She spends a lot of her time working, editing and organizing. She finds a lot of joy in tweeting, snacking, and Beyonce! Her goal is to change lives and help creatives have the ability to touch the world.
Please visit: jasminemilum.com for to learn more about Jasmine’s work.
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