How to Focus on Your Work When There’s So Much Going On

November 09, 2020

Filed Under: Focus, productivity at work

By Tracy Brower

Photo Credit: Getty

There’s a lot going on in our country and in the world, and it can be tough to focus on work. We’ve been going through so much for so long, it’s fair to feel overwhelmed. You’re concerned about the coronavirus, and you’ve been on the edge of your seat following election coverage for the last week. You’re making plans in response to your child’s university announcing classes will be online-only for next semester, and you’re staying up to date on your company’s financial health because of its impact on your job security. But through it all, it’s critical to stay focused on the responsibilities of work, family and home—and to find a way to stay grounded in the process.

Here are the three ways to stay stable and sound when there is so much swirl surrounding us all.  


It may sound selfish to start with yourself, but to be your best you’ll need to begin from a place of strength and clarity. You can provide this for yourself.

  • Your identity. Clarify your values, your priorities and your roles. Regardless of what’s going on in the environment, you believe in key principles and have goals for yourself and your family. In addition, you are a parent, partner or neighbor. At work, you are a leader, a team member or a project manager. We tend to know ourselves through the roles we play in our community, so remind yourself about the consistency of who you are, regardless of what’s going on around you.
  • Your influence. Sociologically speaking, the primary way we learn is through watching other people and their behaviors. This is true even when we’re not conscious of the influence of others. Recognize how much impact you have on the people and situations around you. Demonstrate positivity and resilience. Collaborate effectively with others, even if you don’t agree with them all the time. Your stability and optimism will have important ripples in your community.
  • Your learning. Focus on what you can learn. Hard times give you the opportunity to stretch your own capabilities. In addition, disagreements provide the chance to listen to others’ points of view and learn from them. Stay open to challenges so you can broaden your perspective, your thinking and better understand new ideas.

Your Work

In the middle of a storm, work can be safe harbor. 

  • Your contribution. Your company is counting on you to bring your best. Follow through and focus on the deliverables you must create. Sometimes work can be its own burden. But in turbulent times, the normalcy of a colleague waiting for your report or a customer in need can be reassuring reminders that the world continues, even in the face of uncertainty.
  • Your future. When things are uncertain, your character is especially evident in your actions and responses. This can be a great time to gain appreciation at work which is good for career growth. Demonstrate stability, maturity and consistency through difficult times. Don’t let your productivity miss a beat and continue to deliver solid performance. When your excellence is predictable, even when everything else seems unpredictable, your organization will thank you.

Your Coworkers

Chances are, if you’re struggling with things, your colleagues are as well.

  • Your empathy. Your wellbeing benefits when you can expand your focus from yourself to others. Tune into your colleagues and offer support. Ask them how they’re doing. Listen, and be compassionate.
  • Your energy. Hard times can deplete energy. If you see a coworker struggling to focus or get through a project, offer to help solve a problem or work through a thorny issue. A helping hand not only makes their work better, but also improves their engagement because they draw energy from your camaraderie. 

As humans, we crave certainty and clarity. These times feel especially out of control, but set your course, maintain your focus and nurture your relationships—and know you will make it to solid ground—eventually.

For the original article, visit: Forbes.

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