Sometimes I am amazed that for a somewhat intelligent person, I have such a hard time staying focused on my work. Isn’t that a sign of being weak-minded or incompetent?
Nope, good news! I can blame it on HSP! 🙂
A recent article by HSP expert Peter Messerschmidt, “Time Management, Work and the Highly Sensitive Person” explains how to adjust your habits to HSP-proof your home office.
First of all — Does this sound like you?
You are sitting at your desk at home, doing work on the computer, when you notice the tissue box on your desk is empty. You stop typing mid-sentence, get up, and throw out the old tissue box. Then sit down back to work. A few minutes later, you are distracted by a picture hanging next to your computer from a recent vacation. You google the name of the vacation spot and spend the next 15 minutes reading about it. Back to work! A few minutes later again, you feel like a snack, so you head to the kitchen and notice the floor is dusty, so you decide to sweep it really quick. Ok, time to focus! After a few more minutes of working, you notice a program shortcut on your desktop that you haven’t used in a while. So you spend the next ten minutes going through your programs and deleting things you don’t need. You are not getting much work done!
I am ashamed to admit that that is sooooo me! I don’t think I even realize just how many things I get distracted by and how much time I waste!
Because HSPs are easily distracted by things around them (like an old tissue box or vacation photo) and annoyed by little things (like a dirty kitchen floor or unused desktop shortcuts), we need to work smarter. Not harder.
So acknowledge the fact that you get distracted easily… then minimize those distractions! Look around your work area and see what you can do to help yourself. Clear out clutter. I’ve installed software to stop myself from visiting certain websites when I’m working. The article mentioned a person who used a dedicated work laptop with only a Word processor but no internet connection when they wanted to focus on distraction-free writing.
And if you know there is a certain time of the day you are the most productive (for me, it’s late at night) specifically plan your day so you are working during those times. Take advantage of them!
Like I’ve said many times before, once you acknowledge your HSP traits and accept them, you can adjust your life to better fit you. You might feel like it isn’t “normal”, but who cares. You gotta do what works for YOU.