3 Tips for WFH Productivity: How To Focus Your Busy Brain As An Achiever

Published October 05, 2020 by Sheila Anne Murray

I rushed my puppy Buckwheat into the Subaru and hopped into the front seat with my coffee. We were off to do a short visit with my cousins down the street and I was stoked… I was also anxious.

Ok, Sheila — I thought — once you get back you will put your head down and get things done, you’ve already wasted too much time today!

I looked down at the clock on the dashboard. It read 8:01am.

I had to laugh. There are still some people turning over in their beds at 8 in the morning, while I had been awake for two hours, planning out my day and spending quality time with my partner and pup. Even still, my inclination had been to think nope, this is not enough.

As an achiever, my typical day involves waking up and feeling like I’m at “zero.” I can almost hear my brain whirring in my head as I consider the mountain of tasks to accomplish before I can rest. It’s like trying to win the day, every day.

Simply not being this way is a littttttle idealistic. I’m also all about leveraging your strengths, not trying to counteract them. That said, there are a few go-to tools I’ve acquired over the years that help me to focus my busy brain.

1. Move Your Body

Have you ever been working and then suddenly yourself perusing Airbnb, chatting with a friend, scrolling through social media, or working on tasks you know are like 10th on your list of importance? I’ve been there for sure. If your body is sedentary and your mind is moving 100 mph, focusing is a challenge.

When I worked in sales, I would typically squeeze in a morning workout, bike or walk to work, and I would often stand on my calls. Movement helped me to release stress, set a healthy mindset for the day, and increased my ability to focus on tasks.

Adding movement to your day can make a huge difference, especially if you can commit to moving throughout the day. This can be as simple as dancing to your favorite song on a five minute break, going for a mindful run (leave the phone & worries at home and be present!), or practicing yoga.

Q: How can you more mindfully move your body daily?

3. Don’t Ambush Yourself With Tasks

If you’re an achiever, you probably don’t often get to through the week and say “Whoops I forgot to try.” Effort is your natural state of being. Let’s be real — you like to accomplish.

One of my favorite things to do on a Sunday is plan out my week. Often this includes my workouts and fun stuff so that I know I’ve made time for it. When I wake up Monday morning, I don’t experience the anxiety of the work ahead, because I’ve already evaluated what needs to be done.

If you wait until the morning-of to plan your tasks, it’s easy to panic and to lose out on valuable time. Try planning your major to-dos before Monday morning rolls around and at the end of each day reevaluate and plan your big to-dos for the next day.

Q: How do you currently prepare yourself for the week and how can you improve your method?

🔥hot tip🔥: I live by my physical planner, and my Google calendar serves as a supplement. I find that the less I need to visit my computer or phone to find my schedule, the less I get sidetracked.

3. Make Success Simple

Often, we achievers have a mile-long list of tasks & responsibilities. Though it can be amazing to set goals and to get shit done… wins are often not celebrated and there’s a continuous incomplete feeling.

This is one of the major things that comes up for clients in my Root to Rise program. I often see women feeling scattered and unproductive but the reality is when you set off to accomplish 10 major things in one day, chances are you will fall short. Would you believe it’s not because you are incapable? You just need to set yourself up for success.

Next time you run through your list of tasks - check yourself. Will you realistically accomplish all those things? Might it be better to pare down your list to three things at most? Try it out, allow yourself to focus and succeed.

Q: How realistic are you being with your goals and how can you set yourself up for more success?

Notebook to plan your goals

Mental focus is one of the many things that I help clients to transform in their lives.
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Sheila Anne