Professionally, there are many moments where we can feel our focus split between responsibilities or projects. With only 24 hours in a day, it’s daunting to feel that everything is on your shoulders or that everything is high priority, so we often multitask or put our well-being on the backburner. Ultimately what happens is we’re left feeling burned out and depleted, which means we can’t perform at work or at home. Personally, I’ve found that I need to make active choices to take care of myself during the workday. If I don’t, I know I won’t be at my best, and they are very helpful to take back time for myself.
The first Microstep I use is to remove or temporarily shut down alerts and badges from my phones and devices. Notifications are promoted as reminders to do something, which can sometimes be helpful, but in the middle of the day when you’re trying to focus they are interruptions. I find it easier to focus on my work, or to spend some undisturbed downtime with myself, by shutting notifications off and allowing myself to hold the power of when I want to check in. You would be surprised how much time you get back during your day when you do this.
Another complication of being busy at work is not feeling as though you can take a break during the day. Often, I skip breakfast or lunch because it feels like there is too much to do. As a result, I usually suffer from an extreme case of hungriness. I realize it when it hits and can admit that I’m not as efficient, nor do I make the best decisions when my hanger takes over. My solution to that is to ensure that I get ahead of my hunger. This means taking an earlier lunch or having a healthy snack. A Microstep that helps with this is to set aside time in my schedule to eat lunch. During this time you can always reflect on to-do lists or set yourself up for meetings later in the day, but it’s really a non-negotiable if you want to be productive. The important thing is to make sure you’re making space for yourself as a human being, and the benefits will touch every part of your life.