Ever feel like you just can’t focus at work? That you’re just too distracted to get anything done? We know the feeling.
It seems like we always have something other than what we are doing on our minds. This is a problem, considering most of the work we do as attorneys (and the teams who support them) involves complex and critical thinking. Can you do your best when you’re distracted? Probably not. Can you work as quickly and efficiently when you’re otherwise occupied? Absolutely not.
What can we do though? Even on our most focused day, distractions are limitless. You know the real reason why you’re working on nights and the weekends – because you can actually get things done! When was the last time you worked a 20 hour weekend and thought to yourself, I got more work done this weekend than the last two months combined! I should work every weekend. Last weekend, right?
You really shouldn’t work straight through your nights or weekends though. You need those weekends (and nights filled with real sleep) to replenish yourself. In order to cure and avoid distractions during the workday, however, we have to better understand why we are distracted in the first place.
1. Technology is a blessing and a curse. Most of us cannot go more than 1 hour without our smartphones, laptops, or tablets (or all three) and this poses a very real problem for us. We must be able to step away from our technological devices and be okay with it. We must be able to focus on the present moment without technology. As scary as it sounds, you’re going to need to learn to leave your tech in another room, turn on your do-not-disturb features and give yourself time to get things done.
2. Always seeking perfection. Perfection will kill you and your practice. Being the best we can possibly be is an excellent goal to have every single day, but we cannot let our mistakes become a distraction that interferes with this positive goal. Do not let perfection distract you from efficient process and getting work done.
3. Comparing ourselves to others. Comparison is the thief of all joy, and puts our minds on something that we are not. It is natural to compare ourselves to other people and their work, but by doing this we put our center of focus on someone other than ourselves. This is a distraction that will lead to failure instead of progress. Avoid a comparison mindset and, instead, when you find a colleague you respect, create a relationship where you can mentor and learn from each other.
Every single day our worlds become more and more distracting, taking us further away from the things that we truly want to improve: ourselves and our work. In order to change this, try to step away from technology, seek excellence while learning from your mistakes, and compare yourself to no one other than you to achieve your best possible work.
Don’t forget, at the end of the day, you hold the keys to your own success. If you need a little help starting your journey to greatness, let us know, we’d love to talk about it. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 850-933-5072, and we will set up a complimentary 30 minute brainstorming session.