3 Tips to Stay Focused At Work When Your Mind Is Elsewhere (as in, at another job!)

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3 Tips to Stay Focused At Work When Your Mind Is Elsewhere (as in, at another job!)

You want to get the heck outta dodge when it comes to your career, but you’re conflicted- you’re not out to screw anyone over at your current place and you have a high standard of the quality of your work. It’s quite the predicament and one I remember well: How do I maintain my quality of work and stay focused and do right by my co-workers when I am spending every other waking moment figuring out my next career move? 


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  1. Develop/grow/explore a mindfulness/meditation practice. I truly believe this helps maintain a focused mind. My mindfulness teacher Dan Cayer of Fluid Movement, suggests10 minutes at the start of the day, and maybe a ritual of clearing your desk space and sitting for 2 minutes with eyes closed in silence to close out the day. I’m by no means an expert and I’m learning too, but I’ve been doing this 7 day challenge on my calm.com app and it’s really helping. There really is something to the whole, ‘don’t always be ‘doing’ something’ thing. It seems not logical to get un-focused to stay focused, but it works. 
  2. The Post It Note effect: A client came to me this week asking for tips to stay focused, which inspired this post. They are in the research/reporting field so I suggested a checklist on a post-it note on their monitor with, ““Did you….” and then a checklist of those few things. For her, for example, maybe it’s ‘check fact’ or ‘check spelling of names” so there’s a checklist HANDY right there before you submit your project/work/research/etc.
  3. Don’t let our NOW culture get the better of you. If you’re feeling RUSHED to submit something, move on, etc, fight the urge. Let it sit there for a bit, maybe go to lunch or get up, and then come back with fresh eyes.

If you suspect or know that your boss knows you’re making mistakes or slipping, I’d also suggest the idea of letting him/her know you know you’re aware and you’re putting xyz (maybe some of the above stuff) in place to rectify it immediately. This also sets the tone that you’re proactive and helps in terms of goodwill when you want to leave. It keeps the bridges in tact!

What other tips do you have to remain focused at work when you’ve got 9 toes out the door? Leave ’em below!