When you work in the legal field, your time is almost never your own. Technology has made it possible for clients and coworkers to contact you at any time during the day, seven days a week. In addition to complicating the traditional work-life balance, this constant communication has had serious negative effects on our focus. The legal industry is extremely detail oriented, and even a minor distraction can cause dangerous mistakes. So, what do you do when you need to improve focus? We’ve put together the following tips:
Understand the body
The ability to focus is influenced not only by your mind but by your body. In the same way that an elevated heart rate can trigger feelings of anxiety, calming exercises can help relax your body and bring focus to your mind. Your brain instinctively understands certain cues. When you’re feeling a lack of energy that interferes with focus, a 7-10-minute break from work and technology can be extremely energizing. If you’re feeling intense frustration, a 10-minute break can help you calm down. By learning more about the cues your body responds to, you’ll be able to trigger your focus more reliably.
Consider the visuals
Our brains respond to change more than to monotony. When you spend all day staring at a computer screen, it sends a message to your brain that it can go on auto-pilot. Although changing tasks helps, we suggest changing your environment occasionally to improve your performance. Even a minute or two spent away from your desk can act like a reset button and subconsciously cue your brain that it’s time to engage.
Adopt power phrases
Highly competitive and aggressive environments can take a toll on your self-esteem. In the long-run, this impacts productivity and focus. To counteract these effects, try using power phrases to boost morale. If you played sports as a child, you might already be familiar with this practice. A power phrase is essentially a personal mantra you repeat to yourself over time. This repetition has a grounding effect that can help dispel anxiety. Your power phrase can be anything, such as: “I have value!” or “I am strong and capable!” The trick is to find a phrase that works for you and utilize it in times of stress and low-energy. The idea behind the power phrase is to reaffirm the positive attributes that you already know about yourself and to provide a pick me up when things get challenging.
We hope these tips have helped you bring a bit of focus to your day! Did we miss any great tricks? Let us know in the comments!