If you’re having a hard time keeping yourself focused, either professionally or personally, you’re not alone.
Trying to keep on task is something that just about everyone seems to struggle with. Why? Partly because we all seem to have big to-do lists, whether we’re RNs, LVNs, CNAs, or other health care professions. And it also doesn’t matter how long we’ve been at it – the duties, procedures, and responsibilities may have changed but the urgency to keep focused doesn’t.
The team at Accredited Home Care does its best to make regular duties manageable for all of its staff, and we’re also able to offer suggestions on ways to prioritize your tasks so you don’t feel so overwhelmed or stretched too thin. This way, we can help you manage your workload and be able to focus on what’s important with our clients rather than feeling like panicking and fearing that you can’t get it all done.
Some of the lessons we share with our staff come from the world of health care, where there are all sorts of methods to reduce stress and stay physically and mentally calm. Other strategies can come from the world of business where staying organized and focused are also vital best practices.
Hopefully, putting these together can present some useful ways to stay on task and be able to enjoy your time with a client without worrying about what isn’t getting done or what’s still on tap to be done. If you’re relaxed and not stressed on a regular basis, odds are your clients will notice this too and hopefully feel better themselves.
Why we lose focus
To learn ways to stay better on task, it helps to learn the many reasons why it’s so easy to lose our focus on a regular basis.
It turns out there are all sorts of causes – some are physical, some are environmental, some are mental.
- Too many stimuli. In an environment that’s noisy, it’s easy to feel distracted all the time. True, home health care has some advantages over other medical professions, such as those who work in places like busy hospitals or clinics. But there still could be a lot going on with a patient at certain points in time so it’s hard to know what steps to take. Maybe it’s a day when he or she needs to have a lot of procedures and services performed so there are different co-workers coming in and out. Maybe the client’s family is visiting and is competing for attention. Maybe they’re having some physical or mental challenges that demand attention more days than others.
- Unclear direction. If all you have is a big list of what duties a client could want or need at any given time, it might be hard to figure out how and where to get started. If we randomly tackle a topic, we might fear that we’ll miss something or take too long and have the day’s schedule be impacted. So it’s hard to concentrate. One smarter way to tackle this is to find out what items are critical and which are less vital and could be done in the future. This info and priorities can come from a supervisor as well as the client himself or herself.
- A lack of solid sleep, suggests Entrepreneur magazine, can affect much of your life, including making things feel slower or more confusing. You may feel fatigued or easily distracted. How much sleep is enough is up to each person and their respective metabolism, but health experts suggest at least six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep is the most optimal for mind and body. You can also use this info to encourage your clients to sleep as well since a lack of sleep can cause some of the
- Recent substance use. Regular alcohol and some drugs can cause confusion or make you more distracted. This can also include some prescriptions that can cause drowsiness.
- Some medical conditions. Part of the reason that someone is finding it difficult to stay on task is due to internal reasons. Mental conditions like ADHD also can make it challenging.
- Too much stress. Feeling that things are out of control can sometimes be countered for like we’re part/parties too tired.
Since there could be a variety of reasons that can cause you to lose focus, trying the opposite may help balance things out.
- Take care of yourself. Inc, the popular business magazine, suggests that good nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate sleep can all combine to make someone feel a burst of energy.
- Be familiar with tasks. Knowing what to do and how long it will take can make it easier to perform a variety of services on a particular day rather than guesswork.
- Ask for help. There may still some duties that stay on our plate. But there could be occasions where we can delegate some tasks or go to a supervisor with questions.