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Tip of the Day

Maintaining focus during challenging times

By July 5, 2021September 12th, 2022No Comments

My previous articleHow to manage stress and anxiety in you and your team was about the value of stepping out of our workspace to reset our mind.  We all know the saying “I couldn’t think straight”. This is based on the fact that when we feel stress or anxiety our smart brain (pre-frontal cortex) gets hijacked by this part of the brain – the amygdala – sometimes called flight, fright, fight or lizard brain. It is literally like a chemical has flooded into this part of the brain and stopped it from working. This is why it is very hard to focus when we feel this way. Feeling scattered, dealing with virtual meetings, kids at home, worry about job and health are all going to flood your smart brain.  

To refocus, try this.

When you are not feeling as scattered, create an updated to-do list. I get that your to do list may be a mile long. And looking at it may add to you feeling scattered and stressed. But what I want you to do is to have a look at that list, and pick one thing you enjoy doing or get satisfaction out of. If you don’t have one, then you need to add one! 

Put that one thing on a sticky note on your computer, as a reminder in your calendar, a note on your fridge – whatever it is you seem to be frequenting the most at the moment!  Everytime you feel scattered, anxious or stressed – look at that one thing and go and do that for a few minutes. Mine right now is bagging old clothes and papers I don’t need anymore.  Some of my clients say that googling about a holiday for next year helps them reset and focus. What’s yours?

This action resets your brain away from chaos. It is even effective if the one thing you choose is brief. Figure out what your enjoyable ONE THING should be now. Write it down now.


The next article coming up is about having control in uncertain times. Keep an eye out for it.

Margie Ireland does deep, transformative work with CEO’s, executives, HR professionals, managers and leaders. Margie is a psychologist with a strong commercial background of 25 years and specialises in supporting highly capable leaders to thrive in challenging times. To discuss your needs and to book an initial no-obligation 15 minute call, click here.