Lack of time, distractions, and stress influence our ability to stay focused. Sometimes a vicious circle occurs that is hard for us to break: When we cannot focus on work because of distractions, we feel stressed because we are unable to be productive, and that stress in turn increases our inability to focus.
Can we do something to break this circle? An interesting investigation by Kandi Weins (“Leading Through Burnout: The influence of Emotional Intelligence on the Ability of Executive Level Physician Leaders to Cope Occupational Stress and Burnout”) found that one of the reasons why people collapse and others don't, is why The latter use Emotional Intelligence to manage stress. En particular, self-awareness and self-control to improve your ability to be focused.
According to Weins, use your self awareness to analyze personal aspects:
- Why you feel anxious and stressed. Grab a pen and paper and write down the sources of your stress. How are you going to treat stress if you don't know the causes of its existence? Order them according to whether they are elements that you can change or are not in your hands to modify them.
- How you lose your ability to focus. Now understand how your attention (patterns) is scattered, to learn how to improve your focus.
Once you know the situations that cause you stress and how you lose focus, you can use the following strategies to stay focused (self-control):
- Start with a digital detox: Periodically limit access to the digital world. People who constantly check their email, messages, and social media claim to be more stressed. Organize and set times.
- Give your brain a rest: You need 7 or 8 hours sleep so you can concentrate. Sleep and rest deprivation impairs our ability to plan and act correctly.
- Practice mindfulness: If you can't find concentration, don't keep getting frustrated. For a moment to compose yourself and bring your attention to your breath and your body. Put on a mindfulness audio, for example, of body exploration, and then go back to work.
- Shift your focus towards others: When we look at our concerns, we may stop paying attention to the people who matter most to us. If you pay attention to and care about the feelings and needs of others, you will not only avoid focusing on your stress, but you will also know that you are doing something meaningful to someone you love or appreciate.
Maria Jose Ortega