How to be more present & focused at work and at home

“You can’t be everywhere 100% of time. What you can do is to be 100% present wherever you are.” Carol Fishman Cohen

Being present in a moment is not always easy. We are often absent-minded both at work and at home, which results in us feeling guilty for not being productive at work and present enough with our families. If you feel this concerns you too, consider some of these practical tips below.

Organize your household routine so that you can have a clear head at work.

When you try multitasking, your mind cannot focus well and you lose at least 10 mins to enter the flow with the previous task again. So if you are working on important priority at work and got reminded about something home related, put it on your personal to-do-list and take care of it whenever you are done with the task to avoid multitasking. Also, take some time to plan your household duties and develop routine that works. Having trust that things are being taken care of will help you focus at work. You should also have back-up plans for unexpected situations (such as child becoming sick, nanny calling sick, you feeling unwell etc.), so you are not stressed out and desperately looking for solution, once they occur.

While at home, make an effort to switch off from work related issues

What can help is to take 10 mins before you enter home and put on paper all the things you have in your head which are work-related. If you have a long commute this could be your perfect moment for doing it. Then, plan when you will take care of the things on your list, so you are not stressed out when playing with your children or absent minded talking to your partner. You may for example plan 1 hour in the evening to catch up with work while your children are asleep.

Eliminate distractions, such as cell phone or your laptop

When you enter home, focus on really being at home, with your kids and partner. Put your laptop and your cell phone away or even decide to go out somewhere with your kids, so you are not pulled into work while at home.

Do not to install your corporate inbox on your private smartphone

Otherwise it is very likely that you will be distracted by the incoming mails while spending time with your family.

Protect your family time

Your presence and attention are very important to your kids. It is one of their basic needs. Even if you are not able to be present for most of their day every day, it’s important to ensure that they feel your constant, regular presence in their lives. Here are the 2 nice tips for how this can be done with the intense working schedule that you have.

  • Do not start with your household duties as soon as you enter home. Spend 30 min with your family first before starting to deal with your household responsibilities. You can do that by saying to your kids: “I have 30 mins just for you right now, before I start preparing dinner, how would you like to spend this time together?”
  • Schedule your family time regularly. For example you may block 2 hours in your work calendar each Friday to spend an afternoon with your kids and do their favorite activity. If you have this kind of rituals, it is less likely that life or work issues will get in the way of them. Also by setting this regular time, you create a sense of constant presence in your children’s minds and they will remember that.
  • Make an effort to build fun, special & memorable moments into the time you spend with your kids. Do something they will remember for life. As a kid you probably do not remember that your parents provided you with breakfast every morning, prepared you clothes or brushed your teeth (even though this is a very important job all parents do!). What they will remember though is camping vacation, swimming with you in a pool, going to matches or theater shows. Make sure you give them such adventures!