Finding it hard to remain focused? Try this technique...

Posted in: Wellbeing

Life in lockdown isn't always easy for various different reasons and sometimes even when it feels like time isn't as important as it was before it can still be very hard to focus on tasks, work or even day-to-day activities.

I wanted to share a technique that was introduced to me in my coaching role that I have been using on regular basis to help me focus my days. You can either do this focusing activity silently in your head or you may find it helpful to write down your responses (I find it helps to write down my own responses). It's best doing this at the start of your day.

The technique is easy to use, all it requires you to do is think about your responses to the statements in bold.

1. My number 1 priority today is... Take time to reflect on what you want to achieve within the day. Whether this is personal or related to your studies, big or small, this priority needs to be something that you want to achieve within the day.

2. I want to do less... Thing about the things that you don't want to do as much. For example, you may want to do less household chores or you may want to do less reading for your course. It's helpful to think about these aspects so you can see when they are starting to creep into your day so you can minimise them.

3. I want to do more... Thing about the things that you want to do more of. For example, you may want to spend more time talking with family and friends, want to go for a walk or want to spend more time writing. Again, it's useful to thing about these things so you can make time for them in your planning.

4. Today I want to feel... Now you've established what you want to do, start to think about how you want to feel. Do you want to be energised, do you want to be happy or happier than a previous day, do you want to feel like you've made some progress. Try to think about a few feelings.

5. To feel this way I will... Think about any enablers that will help you get reach your achieved goals with your feelings. For example, you may track your results of a run so you have evidence that you have been more energetic and have spent time focusing on your fitness.

6. If I get stuck I will remember... Think about some of the things or resources you can call upon if you feel you have lost your focus or are feeling a bit stuck. For example, you may find looking at your reflections in this diary helpful to help you focus, or by taking a 5 minute break whenever you get stuck. Find something that works for you.

(Adapted from Leadership Coaching 2020)

Hopefully this technique will be helpful in focusing your mind, your day and your activities. I've learnt it's best not to over-complicate your responses. Whether your goals appear big or small, as long as they are relevant to you and achievable that's all that matters. Try using the technique over a couple of days and reflect on whether it has helped you in any way.

With best wishes,


Doctoral Engagement Manager, Doctoral College
Internal Staff Coach



Posted in: Wellbeing


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