Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any wilder, this epic year throws another curveball at us. From the onslaught of a viral pandemic to unprecedented political turmoil, 2020 just keeps dishing it out. Oh, did we mention the worst wildfires in recent history and epic hurricanes?

It’s no wonder that the average worker’s ability to focus on his or her job declined by 31% in August compared to the pre-COVID-19 era. That’s according to the Mental Health Index published by Total Brain.

All this stress has sent millions of people scrambling for coping strategies. Mental health experts offer this 3-point approach:

  1. Take Back Control

The daily news is a constant source of stressful information. We must do something to directly counter what’s amping up our stress. One suggestion is to cut back on taking so much in. Stop “doomscrolling,” one expert said. That means cutting back on sifting through the news found online, especially on social media sites, where too often the worst spin is put on an already bad story by people with dark agendas.

No, this isn’t sticking one’s head into the sand. It just means taking in only as much as you can deal with within a single day. You simply don’t have to dwell on all of it 24/7.

  1. Practice CDE — Curtail, Delegate, Eliminate

Getting back focus means jettisoning some of your workload and responsibilities. Go through your daily task list and be ruthless about eliminating jobs or functions you can get by without. When possible, delegate tasks by entrusting others to complete them for you. Narrow your task list to a minimum. Then winnow out a few “easy wins” and start there.

  1. Energy Management

If you pay careful attention to your daily activities, you can pinpoint when you are at peak performance levels and identify times when you are running low on energy. Protect your premium performance periods from time-wasting activity or people who drain your time without purpose.

A bonus tip: Consider practicing some form of meditation for 10 to 20 minutes each day. Numerous studies are definitive in concluding that meditation helps calm the mind and thus lays the foundation on which greater focus can manifest itself.