Finding trouble in concentrating on all remote meetings and calls

These are hard times for our concentration system. So many things are happening all around us and it’s really hard to separate the important from the less important stuff.

I’ve found myself lingering way too long checking the news, my phone, and every social medium. I mostly blame it on the fact that my work and life environment are totally mixed together and there’s no clear border in between.

So I decided to make a change. I wanted to work more productive and focused which would result in shorter and more effective workdays.

The following list contains some advice I’ve found online or practices I’ve used before. Hope it helps you too.

Keep a clear pattern in your day

It sounds really simple, but I swear sometimes it’s really hard to stick to a routine. My weekdays-schedule is as following:

  • 7 AM: wake-up, make-up and pump some energy in my tired eyes!
  • 9 AM: first stand-up call with the whole team. We check into each other and tell what we have done the day before and what our goals are for the coming day.
  • 12 PM: FOOD! We try to eat healthy and varied and always around the same time.
  • 17 PM: The afternoon is always the hardest for me. I try to schedule the most important and intensive task in the morning. For example for me, intensive tasks are researching or writing blogs. A long working task like a design update, touching-up the details or finding inspiration are fun things to do so I try to schedule those in the afternoon.

Make clear boundaries between living and working area’s

When this whole quarantine started I’ve found myself sometimes working out of bed. Once the meetings were done I would place myself comfortable in bed and start working from there. Result? At the end of the day I felt terrible.

Not only was I grumpy but I also sensed a disconnection to the world. After the rain came the sun and the realization that my feelings maybe were caused because of my subconsciousness. I strongly believe that my subconsciousness relates my bed and bedroom to sleeping or relaxing. It’s a place where you supposed to be completely spaced out from the rest of the world.

Long story short, I now work well behaved at the table and no-longer in my bed. I’ve updated my working-space and added some attributes so that I work more comfortable and ergonomic.

Make use of concentration tools

As I mentioned before, I find it hard to keep my eyes off of my social media apps. This is a reoccurring problem for me in the past and luckily I’ve learned some tricks to handle this.

Logo of SelfControl the App
Logo of SelfControl the App
Selfcontrol = saving me wasting too much time

My main go-to solution is “SelfControl”. It’s a really easy-in-use program that lets you create a blacklist and set a timer. For the whole period of time, all the sites will be blocked on every browser you’ve installed. There will be no way for you to enter the sites that you’ve listed.

It’s really embarrassing that I need this kind of app to manage my time but when the need arises... A positive effect of using this little program is that once using it a few times, it really reduces the urge of checking my socials.

Open work searches and calls in other browser screens

A recent trick that I applied is opening my Hangouts, Whereby or Teamspeak calls in a different screen of my browser. It reduces distractions of tabs that were already open and I deliberately don’t open new tabs

Well that was that! I really hope I gave some useful tips for those who are also struggling concentrating. If you have some other tricks, leave them in the comments below!

Keep safe and remember to wash your hands!

-Nina

Trying to figure things out while writing about it. Lover of design, front-end development and anything data-related