In this blog, I want to offer some resources to reboot – physically, emotionally, career-wise. I am sharing the science and current thought leadership around focusing and stress management. I was also curious about goals, systems, and habits. Hope you find these resources interesting and helpful too.
Finding It Hard to Focus Right Now?
Have you heard of Cognitive Load Theory? It is a neurobiological theory that could explain why it has been hard to focus during the Pandemic. When routine things are not familiar anymore – say going to the store – your brain is working harder.
Learning new habits (mask-wearing, Zoom meetings), external distractions (like homeschooling or working at the kitchen table), and even emotions – can increase the load on your working memory capacity and make it especially hard to maintain focus and productivity. This theory makes a lot of sense to me and helped explain our current situation well. Read the full article on the BBC’s WorkLife Blog: Cognitive Load Theory: Explaining our fight for focus.
Now that we have named the problem, what are some good strategies for improving focus right now? In this article from Fast Company, “How to do thoughtful Work when you just can’t focus.” Reflect, Embrace Change, Broaden. Plus- this interesting quote: “Google searches for “how to get your brain to focus” jumped by 300% between February and early May 2020.” So- this is a shared experience for lots of people right now.
Is Poor Time Perception Causing You Additional Stress Right Now?
The last thing any of us needs right now is a laundry list of additional tasks to manage stress. What if you could make just one small change in your perception and relieve time pressure stress? Celeste Headlee shows us the science behind this phenomenon in her article “Feel overwhelmed and stressed? It’s time for you to track your time.”
Apparently, humans are not so as good as we think we are about scheduling our time. She makes a compelling case for using simple tracking tools to help your figure out what you can REALLY get done.
Stanford University Health Psychologist Kelly McGonigal wants us to change our perception about the idea of stress altogether. Her science-based TED talk shows why and gives some instant, practical tips for seeing stress differently. Worth a lunchtime watch – HERE.
Do You Need a Goal or a New Habit?
Productivity expert Michael Hyatt talks about “When and How to Use Habits to Achieve Your Goals” in this helpful blog. He also shares his favorite habit tracker.
We know great results do not just happen. But often, setting a small, achievable new habit to reach the goal – i.e. I will write for 20 minutes every day for six months – gets you where you need to go in a measurable, concrete way. Being intentional about choosing your habits will help you reach your goals.
I hope at least of these reboot resources is helpful. It has certainly been a year, and we could all use a little support moving forward. If you are currently job searching, be sure to check out our current positions!