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Episode 057 – Seekardo Short – How to regain focus after – holiday, long weekend, covid distractions, being furloughed, daily inputs and more

On today’s Seekardo Short, we focus on – how to regain focus after a period of being away from your day to day work or business. With the aim being, returning to your work and immediately being back to your best.

There are many positive and negative reasons we are taken away from the flow of our day to day work. For example:

  • Going on holiday
  • Long weekend and public holidays
  • Distraction of Covid
  • Being furloughed for a period of time
  • Long running media news distractions
  • Taking time out to be with a loved one

The list is endless, but the goal for high performers is the same. Get back to what I was doing with a bang and avoid the (super) slow start up.

Unfortunately for most, it’s not just a matter of flicking a switch.

So how can we regain focus as quickly as possible?

Listen to this Seekardo Short episode to learn how including:

  • How to regain focus generally?
  • Quick way to pick up where you left off?
  • Common distractions?
  • Copy and paste process you can use every time to regain focus

Listen to learn more.

Full transcribe below…

Harms: Hello it’s Harms here and welcome to another episode of the Seekardo show, it’s a Seekardo short and we are talking about the subject of focus, but specifically I want to ask Ro, how do we regain focus once we’ve come out of place of leisure a place of not having to be at the top of our game? 

For example, if you’ve been on holiday and you have to get back to a state of performance you’ve got to get back to work, business, whatever that means to you. Or you’ve got to get back to family life. 

You’ve had a beautiful weekend. Monday turns up and you’ve got to be at the top of your game once again. If we look at that big macro level you could have been on furlough for the last year you could have had a lot of time where you weren’t working, in your day-to-day high-performance state, but now things are getting closer to normality, as close as normality we can get. 

At the time of recording this Covid was going on and 12 months where everybody’s work changed whether it got more extreme or if you had a longer period not working and now getting back to work, whatever that means to you, how do we regain focus and get to top performance when we are coming out of situation like that?

Dr Ro: Oh sorry were you talking to me?

I was just distracted by something with no focus whatsoever. 

Hi everybody and welcome to a Seekardo short. It’s an important point because I think you’re right the focus shifted a lot this last year. I think the focus was distracted by government announcements. There was an obsession about statistics for a while and then the focus was on maybe some of the pain and the difficult things a lot of us experienced. 

What can often happen is we start off a year, a weekend or a period of our lives and we have an idea and the thing we wanted to do does not have meaning. 

To me it’s like how crystal-clear it is. It’s going to be easy to get back to it. If you’ve got a hi def clear picture of what you wanted before all the smoke arrived, quite easy to pull that back up again and switch that back on, someone hasn’t got a different story. 

If we take the scenario you described coming out of the situation of the last year the first thing people need to do is get a blank piece of paper and for me as you know part of it is the whole physiology of wiring your body and your cells to a pen to a piece of paper and writing down what your aspirations were prior to whatever happened. 

You mentioned a weekend and one of the things I say to people is capture what your focus is for the next week at the end of the week so that when you pick it up on Monday you write a very clear definition of what next week is going to be. 

Let’s take a holiday, for example, sit down and just ask yourself where was I at the start of the holiday? Where was I at the start of lockdown? What are my aspirations? What are my aspirations looking for financially? 

What are my frustrations and how did I use that to drive me towards something else? You’ve got to kind of it to a point where everything is on paper and how I tend to do it is I’ll write stuff up. I may type it afterwards, but all I want to do is sift out what the most important thing is, because in the writing sometimes I find myself then describing something else, and this happened, and I thought about doing this. 

It’s a dialogue on paper of your internal dialogue.

Harms:  I love the whole process of being clear before you go take that break.

Dr Ro: Think of that as a book.

We’re talking about it as a retrospective so you asked the question how do we refocus now, but I thought it would be good throwing in there for a good habit for them to form.

Harms: It’s extremely useful and what comes to mind is you’re reading a book before you go to bed. You put the bookmark in the book, so when you get to your book the following night you open it up. I know I was at the start of this page. 

I love that as a starting point that, interestingly you said I’m going to see what you think about the whole writing thing, specifically what I find is when I am in a place of no low def, hazy, smoky, a complete lack of focus I always default to pen and paper. 

It is the most incredible way to gain clarity because like you said it’s that download of dialogue.

Dr Ro: You might say my handwriting is shit, or I’m a slow writer it could be a mind map. Scribbles, drawings are just something to remind you and use colour if you can. 

You may have four or five things captured on the paper in fact it’s sometimes quite good to do a mind map because as you mentioned you start to pull things apart, but by doing that you quickly go yeah that’s right, I was going to drop that and do that.

Harms: That’s the most important thing and often once you’ve completed an A four piece of paper it’s so evident what you should be focusing on, if of course you’re super clear on your values, your goals. 

What your target is for the year, what your core objectives are all clear.

Dr Ro: It might be that your focus is to refocus back on you. 

I’ve gone through a massive shift in my life. What are my values? What do I believe in? 

My identity as a person and where I want to be in the next five, 10 years have changed this last year, so let me refocus on that and try and understand a bit more about who I am. 

Otherwise what you might do is set financial focuses but then you are driven by something external you’re not quite right to get to that place yourself.

Harms: Once we have that dialogue on paper I know when I personally do it, overwhelm, we’re turning the definition up from 480, 720 it’s getting close to 1080p for the video people, what do we do next?

Dr Ro: We’re dumping everything on paper and then we see the image of what we want to do but then you’ve got to think about your life management. Is there an area of your life that you want to focus on? 

It could be one area of health, relationship, business, one might be one emotional development so there might be four key areas. Then the key question then at this moment in time is what is the most important thing? 

You have to ask that question otherwise, everything is important. 

Remember to move forward you’ve got to have the next step, but that’s really hard to do if there are four big steps in front of you so look at each one and then score it on a scale of 1 to 10. So I want to improve my health, my finances. 

I want to work on my relationship on a scale of 1 to 10. Which of these is the most important? One is it’s not important, 10 it’s really, really important. Another way to do it is to say on a scale one to 10 how frustrated I am in the area? 

That’s actually quite a cool tool because if you said in the area of health how frustrated am I with my level of health? Maybe three I feel healthy. What about my finances? That’s like a nine, I’m so frustrated in this area and in my relationship probably five or six. 

So out of all of that money is the one you’re most frustrated with, the simple answer to where do I focus then the next question is, if I carry on feeling that level of frustration how am I going to feel?

 I need to sort that out. There you go, you’ve identified your area of focus. 

That’s another way to do it: you look at the pain of that area and you say which one had got the most pain? That’s where I need to focus first. If you’re walking along you stub your toe on one foot and you trod on a piece of wood which has a splinter you’re walking along the stubbed toe is painful you put some ice on it, but the one really sharp actually is the one with the splinter. I need to stop and deal with that whereas I can carry on walking with stubbed toes. 

That’s another way to look at it.

A contrarian way to focus on what you’re most passionate about actually marrying the two together is even more powerful.

Harms: Once they’ve got to that point let’s say we’re now narrowing down on a week to week basis we what the focus is, are there any ways that you go about structuring what you’re going to be doing how we take the most important thing, the second most important thing putting that into a week, month.

Dr Ro: That’s way beyond this short. 

When you talk about an area of life there are projects underneath that. The question has to be on a scale of one to ten, nine in frustration. 

What are you frustrated with? Is it your debt? No, that’s okay because my frustration actually is with my money management. I’m not very good on a monthly basis managing my money. What about your generation of wealth? I’m okay with that, I’ve got a property business, I trade the stock market, I’ve got my job as well, I’m creating a lot of money but the frustration is I’m not managing the money very well. 

Now we’ve got three areas: one major area, money, and three project areas. 

One is wealth, one is debt and money management and the one that has the most pain is money management, now we’re narrowing down. 

Now inside the area we ask the question: what do we do next? I need to map out how I’m managing my money. You create at least the minimum some small tasks, what are your next five steps, don’t go for 50 steps you won’t do it. 

Harms: What I personally do then is go from paper into some kind of online tool.

Dr Ro: Now we bring it into something you carry around with you, a phone.

Harms: Take what you’ve done now on a macro level get it into task form. You remove the overwhelm things are clearer the focus is clearer.

Dr Ro: Focus either on what you feel pain in because that’s where you probably need to focus or the opposite is inspirationally, which one turns you on the most.

Harms: Then we now move into task level and that’s it is clear.

Dr Ro: We could knock out 50 tasks right now in an area of the business, but just go to the first five things that are going to create some momentum.

If you come back from a holiday or lockdown the thing that will be frustrating is at the end of the month or the week where you know what you need to do, but there are too many things and you don’t feel like you’ve done anything. 

At least finish the week, what’s the immediate that’s going to have a big impact on that next step? 

What can move you closer to your target?

Harms: Just to finish it off the amazing thing about that is when you are taking your break away from work and business, that’s for you.

You don’t have to continue thinking I’ve got to do this, be present where you’re present and you’ll return to this with crystal-clear clarity. 

That’s myself and Ro signing off, we will see you on the next episode.

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