Focus on work… SQUIRREL!

The last several months have been super busy. I accepted the program manager role at work; but in doing that, I had to not only learn those tasks, but help my old team with their work load, and find and train my replacement. Throw in four ailing pets and lots of new school issues for everybody else in the house, and you’ve got stress level maximum.

Feeling like I was at the receiving end of a million dodge balls has made me realize I have a hard time focusing. Really I just have a hard time NOT listening to distractions, or knowing when to deal with said distractions. I’m still learning daily how to deal with this, but did discover two major distractions for me that I’m now working actively to control:

  1. Social Media
  2. The rest of the internet

Social media has been nothing but a back-and-forth fight between two imaginary sides. If you’re not “for” something, you’re “against” it. And if you don’t want to weigh in on the fight … you still have to deal with the cesspool of memes, slander, nastiness, and hatred. It’s been just terrible. I have a lot of old friends on Facebook that I love following. I love seeing pictures of their family, following their progress on Ironman training, their moves to another country, etc. But if I spend any more than a few moments on there, I’m suddenly bombarded again with the “Coke” vs. “Pepsi”, “Democrat” vs. “Republican”, “Office UK” vs. “Office US”, etc. fights. AARRGGHH!

So yeah, I’ve been deliberately avoiding Facebook and Twitter for any length of time. I’ve been doing a Project 365 in which I post three pictures per day to Instagram, which shares through to Facebook for my friends to follow. But other than that, I’ve been avoiding the sites.

As for “the internet”, that’s a much more difficult (and vague) task. In general, I’ve found that when I’m overwhelmed with stuff, I avoid doing it. Just having a browser open sometimes can lead me on a tangent that takes an hour to recover from. Yikes. I’ve been trying to overcome this by taking more focus breaks. I’ll shut the browsers and tackle my to-do list for a short period of time. I’ve also found that I have to break tasks down into “bite sized” chunks in order for me to stay motivated to work on them. It’s still a work in progress (as is everything in life), but it’s helping.

All this just to say that it’s been a very busy couple months with no real end in sight. So I’ve come to the realization that I just need to find a way to deal with it and make things workable for me. More to come … stay tuned!


Photo by Erik Lucatero on Unsplash