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Don’t forget to pick up the kids, plan your meals, feed the dog, return Joe Bob’s call, pack lunches, finish those 15 projects that are past due, don’t forget to go to that meeting, reschedule one of the kids doctors appointment, confirm your doctor appointment, and oh yeah, take a shower.  Ever have those days when you just can’t get it together?  I had one of those today.  It’s Monday, so maybe I just had a case of the Monday’s. Maybe I just need help finding focus because of being overstimulated by an abundance of to-dos, both personally and professionally.

We all have those days, I know.  Some more than others.  Then you look at your co-worker who looks like he/she has got it all squared away and wonder how in the hell they do that, every. single. day.  Want to know a secret? They don’t always have it together, but they fake it til they make it!  You never know the battles others are fighting, just like they don’t know yours.  Be kind… always.

There are ways to get it done, and I’ve been through corporate training on different methods, but you know what works best?  Anyone?  No?  I’m still working on it myself, but making lists is my thang.

I’m a notepad hoarder.  I love them.  I have probably a good 30 of them laying around the house and the office half used.  I carry at least one with me at all times.  I’m terribly forgetful these days, I blame the medication.  Notebooks help me remember, now if I could just remember which notebook I wrote that list down in that I needed to remember…

List Making

I start off my days at the office with a notepad and a pencil and write up a couple of lists.  One is the tasks that must be completed today, and the second is the list of tasks that need to get done but are not a priority.  That way when you get the random fire drill of a request that needs to be completed, you know what your day looks like and you can adjust accordingly.

Lists are also good because you get to cross items off it.  This will give you a sense of accomplishment and boosts your motivation.  Remember to always start with a fresh list each day.


Tune out to Music

I work in an open floor plan office in pretty close quarters to my team.  This does wonder for teamwork and collaboration, but not such much for the individual work.  I decided investing in a good set of earbuds was the way to go. I have these (Affiliate link).  I also have Pandora, and if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you get music as well.

Depending on what the tasks at hand are usually will determine my playlist.  If I need to focus on something that involves a lot of brain power, I tend to tune in to instrumentals or acoustic cover songs.  Some days I’ll even dive into some spa-style music.

If the task isn’t too demanding on the brain, I’ll listen to whatever keeps things upbeat and happy for me.  I have an Ed Sheeran channel on Pandora that I love, it mixes in some other great music as well.

You also can’t go wrong with 30 Seconds to Mars.  Just had to throw that one out that since I’m seeing them for the bazillionith time in June.

Get Up and Move!

Take a mental break, go for a walk!  You need to keep the blood flowing to keep your focus.  If you feel like life distractions are getting the best of you, stand up and move around.

Want to kick it up a notch?  Take a walk upstairs if your office or home has them.  We have 5 floors in my building and my work-space is on the first floor.  Once every hour or so, give or take, I’ll get up and walk the stairs.  This helps to get in some exercise throughout the day, making that brain of yours happy.

Keep it Together

Keeping it together helps keep you focusing on the tasks at hand.  Make lists, tune into music, and get up and move periodically to help maintain your focus in an otherwise world full of distractions.  And a bonus tip:  drink lots of water and eat healthily!


Thanks for reading today folks!  Looking forward to our next meeting.


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Sara is a mother of two, wife and full-time employee. She's also a parent of a child with special needs.