Want to improve your focus?

Are you the type of person who springs out of bed ready to take on the day, or perhaps you need the snooze button and some strong coffee before tackling your to-do list?

Whatever your morning routine, starting your day with clear intent and purpose can help you stay centred, aware and focused ready for a productive day.

We’ve seen a great deal of change over the past few months with the COVID-19 pandemic, including how and where we do our work. As restrictions ease, we will be asked to adjust to more change, and this is likely to be the case for many months ahead. For many of us, that will mean creating new routines as we transition back to working on campus from working remotely

Whatever your approach, it will help to give some advance thought to how you can get the most out of your day, and to maintain connection and effective working relationships with your teams and colleagues.

It starts with wellbeing

A good night’s rest is key to a good start the next morning. Most of us need between seven and nine hours sleep each night, and hitting the hay before midnight helps improve the quality of your sleep.

It’s also important to give yourself some time out. Build breaks into your daily schedule and move around when you can to stretch and, importantly, take regular breaks from the computer screen. 

Boosting your productivity

Here’s a couple of our favourite tips to get you set for a productive day:

Eat that frog

Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing it’s probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you for that day. In our case, the ‘frog’ is your biggest, most important task for the day. The one you’re most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.

The key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity throughout the day is to develop the habit of tackling your major task first thing each morning. If you want real focus, take yourself offline until you’ve accomplished what you need to do and ‘eaten that frog’.


When things are becoming difficult or a bit overwhelming, a simple but effective technique to shift our mindsets is the STOPP technique, which stands for:

  • Stop: Start by pausing what you are doing for a moment.
  • Take a breath: Take some slow deep breaths.
  • Observe: While you are slow breathing, observe your thoughts and feelings.
  • Pull back: Pull back to help change your perspective. Ask yourself, What is another way of looking at this? What advice would a friend or trusted adviser give me in this situation?
  • Practice – proceed: Finally, decide what is the best way to proceed or an action you could take, keeping in mind that not acting until later may be an appropriate response in the situation.

There’s no shortage of tips and tricks to boost productivity, join our discussion in the Working Remotely group and share what works for you.


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