Do you find it difficult to focus when you’re at work? Do you feel like you’re pulled in so many directions, that you can’t even think straight? Are you irritable? By the time you get home from work, do you find it hard to do much of anything? Well … you’re not alone! Many people experience this phenomenon in various forms. Perhaps you feel like you don’t even know where to look for help with this. Or maybe you’ve tried, seemingly everything, and nothing has changed. Don’t despair! Here are 3 quick and easy ways to start honing in on the problems:
1. Distraction. If you do a lot of multi-tasking, you are probably highly distracted. There might also be quite a bit of background noise and action going on, making it even harder to concentrate. Your emotions can take a hit from this as well as your ability to think. We are living in the age of information, with data bombarding us at every turn. How can we keep up emotionally and intellectually? Research tells us that if the people you work with trust each other, your performance will probably be better, and so will your thoughts, feelings, and ability to concentrate. If you work with people who have little to no trust to each other, performance will suffer. Read up on positive psychology and emotional intelligence and start developing a plan for self-improvement. Also, ask yourself if you need to change your work environment.
2. Diet. Certain foods will help you be calmer and better focused. These are anti-inflammatory foods, like clean proteins, non-starchy vegetables, and low sugar fruits. If you eat lots of junk foods at the office and elsewhere – donuts, other sugary bakery treats, pizza, candy, etc. – you are exacerbating your problems with focus, mood, concentration, and even motivation. So, think ahead and pack your food if you have no good alternatives and limit your temptations this way. There are also healthy ways to bake your own treats which will not spike your insulin and you can enjoy these while staying more productive and alert than your co-workers!
3. Are you sleeping at night? Sleep is very important and can impact your performance and mood in general, and especially at work. Sleep is restorative and healing, and when this important cycle is disturbed, it can wreak havoc with your daily life. Are you sleeping close to 8 hours per night? Are you sleeping restfully? Do you wake up refreshed and ready for your day or tired? Do you wake up every few hours? It very well might be time to change habits or visit a sleep clinic to determine if you have a disorder, like sleep apnea. Make sure your electronic equipment is off when you go to bed and that the room is dark – this signals sleep hormones to help you fall asleep.
These are a few areas to consider and a few suggestions for improvement. You can change your ability to focus – don’t give up and you will find your way!
Have a happy and holistic day!
- Dr. P