If you're having trouble focusing, make sure it's not this
You’ve been plugging away for a few hours and have checked the top three items off of your to-do list for the day.
Feeling super productive, you figure you deserve a break so you open a new browser and check Facebook.
After 15 minutes have gone by you kick yourself, “What the heck am I doing? I’ve got work to do!”
You get up, take a walk around, grab a snack, and settle back in so you can whoop the rest of the day in the butt.
Three minutes go by.
You’re staring out the window.
You look back to your computer.
Back to staring out the window again.
This could be a symptom of many things, including burnout—maybe you’re working too much?
Or it could be something simpler.
It's time to change your scenery.
When I was working in an office, I learned I could only be truly productive for so long before I needed a change. Finding a variety of places to get your work done might be a challenge in typical office buildings, but office buildings and companies are catching on.
Maybe people aren’t wanting to work from home, they just need some workplace variety. If you work in an office, you could try sitting in another spot if you have an open office, work from your cafeteria, grab an office, or take your laptop downstairs to the lobby if you have one, or down the street to a cafe.
This is also one of the reasons coworking spaces are popping up all over, they are all about variety! That and the buzz of unlimited organic coffee and people getting their fill of work variety.
After making the move to work from home full time, it was an adjustment. I love working in my home office. It doubles as the playroom and art room so huge canvases and all the kids’ art line the walls. Sometimes this means there's play doh on the floor.
I sit in front of a bunch of windows where I can watch our chickens and ducks run around and every now and again I catch cardinals, deer, hummingbirds, butterflies, and a giant wasp. Yes, I spend a lot of time gazing out the window.
After a few hours though, I need a change. If it’s nice outside I’ll head to the front porch and plant myself on a rocker, and if it’s cold out, I’ll set up shop on the couch or in bed.
A few times a week I like to work somewhere that’s not at home. This is usually Starbucks—especially since they started serving almond milk (if you’re going to get it in a latte, make sure you get it with no foam, almond milk is fussy like that). Sometimes my office is the library or the hockey arena, the gymnastics stands or sitting in the car waiting for school to get out or an unseasonably cold baseball practice to end.
Next time you notice yourself feeling stale, uninspired, bored, or even agitated, it might not be you—it’s where you’re planting your butt.