Attention Issues: Part 3
Part 3 – Lessons Learned
What I knew theoretically, I have now learned practically from this ongoing experiment. Here are my lessons:
1. The brain is not easily changed but can adapt and improve with repeated, helpful experiences.
2. No system will ever cure my attention issues. These are a part of me and are here to stay. My new structured experiences are helping and assisting my brain in finding workarounds and learning that accomplishing tasks in small, repeated doses can be quite rewarding. My brain is also learning that every impulse is not an emergency.
3. I will always have times when I struggle to stay on task. There will be times when no matter how good my system is, I will fail to complete my work or be able to stick with it. Lack of sleep, too much sugar and coffee, lack of exercise, holidays, family issues, and anything else that is stressful in a good or bad way test my systems.
4. Some days, the timer and sticky notes must be put away. Systems are great tools, only if they consider the humans using them. If I begin a cycle with my system and it feels like I’m forcing myself, I now choose a completely different activity to work on that does not require such a high level of attention.
5. Finally, I have had to let my closest people know about my system and that if I miss a call or text, I will loop back on my next break. I also allow time in the beginning, at lunch, and at the end of the day to connect with clients. Knowing that is my practice allows me not to worry while staying on task.
These two sets of rules and their continued practice have made a difference in my work life and, therefore, my home life. I leave work at work, feel accomplished most days, and wake up knowing my daily odds of success are high!
If you have attention issues at work, how do you stay on task? How do you manage yourself, projects, and your workspace?