This pandemic stuff goin’ on is very distracting wouldn’t you say? Like there weren’t enough distractions to deal with in our lives already!
A lot has changed for all of us recently, in one way or another and when routines and familiarity are upended, it takes some time to get used to and to get ourselves realigned and re-focused.
So here’s the one thing you can do to make that happen:
Accept, plan for and create a new daily or weekly routine for yourself.
I’m guessing that your old routine is most likely not working very well for you right now.
First off let’s just accept that fact. Things have changed, things are different, we have more things on our mind (hello: pandemic) and things are just not being done the same way we’re used to right now.
So our routine needs to be tweaked and adapted to this change around us.
The point here is not to force yourself to focus by sticking to a rigid routine. This is not to be set in stone and followed to a T no matter what…keep it loose and flexible. Know that things will still likely change each day and that you’ll adapt along the way.
The point is to keep you aware of and focused on only your top priorities and what your next steps are. It’ll help keep you on track and it’s also something to come back to when you do get distracted, to get you back on track. It’s a plan that will help you adapt to your new reality and your current needs, to keep you focused and to take back control of how you’re spending your time and energy. 🙌
Don’t just try to make it up as you go along each day – it’s too easy that way to react to whatever comes up in the moment, procrastinate because you’re not sure what to work on, or get overwhelmed at the thought of all you need to do. All of this will lead to distractions.
So consciously create a new routine that’s going to work best for you, considering what’s going on in your life right now.
We want to put something down on paper so you can flow through the day with more ease and ensure you have enough time to get things done.
How To Create A New Routine
1️⃣ Block out time in your daily or weekly calendar
Schedule in time for the things you most want to get done.
All the work things, self-care things, home schooling the kids, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, walking the dog, exercising….all of it.
2️⃣ Consider what you want to do for yourself first thing in the morning
Your morning sets the tone for the day, so make it good! Get your day off to a positive start so you feel comforted and have everything you feel you need to have a smooth and productive day.
Include whatever helps wake you up and gets you energized and makes you feel happiest. A warm cup of coffee, a bit of yoga, some journalling, a sit down breakfast with the family, a review of your to-do list….whatever you need.
Maybe you can wake up before everyone else to squeeze this in if you want “alone” or undisturbed time. Or if mornings just aren’t doable for you, turn it into a “late morning” or “afternoon” routine for any time when you’re least likely to be distracted or disturbed. Better late than never. 😉
3️⃣ Include and schedule regular breaks throughout the day
You’ll come back from these breaks energized and refreshed and that plays a big part in helping you focus. You’ll get way more done this way than if you try to force yourself to plow through a huge to-do list.
And make the most of them by deciding upfront what you’ll do during those break times (take a walk to get some sunshine, work out, read, stretch, Netflix…)
4️⃣ Also include your “news consumption time”
It might sound like a weird thing to do, but even if you seem to handle and process the news well, it’s likely causing some level of internal stress and anxiety.
There’s a lot of information coming at us every single day, a lot of it is confusing because it’s constantly changing and a lot of it is scary or at the very least uncertain. Whether we like it or not it’s very distracting and draining to take all this in.
And most of what you’re hearing on the news is all repeated anyway. There’s absolutely no point watching the same confusing and stressful messages and stories over and over again.
But we do need to stay up to date for our own sake and health, so choose just one source that provides well rounded information, that you trust and know is credible. And choose a time and a time limit for yourself (I’d say up to one hour a day is about enough for most of us).
5️⃣ Make sure your to-do list is much shorter than usual
Go crazy and cut that to-do list in half (at least)! Keep it to only the major priorities and must-do’s. 📝
I know this can be hard to do, but if you feel overwhelmed (and maybe even dizzy) when you look at your to-do list, there’s too much there. You need to put your health and well-being first.
Consider the energy you have right now, and all the other stuff you have going on (ie: other members of your household are now always around, keeping kids entertained and up to date with their education, processing all the news reports, having to disinfect everything…)
Lower those expectations of yours. If you’re getting even a fraction of your usual to-do list done right now, you’re doing AHmazing.
This time we’re in is a perfect opportunity to cut the non-essentials so you can focus on only the most important stuff.
6️⃣ Pick a place in your home that’s dedicated to working
Make it part of your new routine to work in this spot always. Even if it’s a corner of a table or counter!
This will condition you to associate work with that spot and that it’s work time when you are in that spot, which will lead to sharper focus while you’re there. 😁