Leo Babauta, (NO_ITEM_DATA:babautaResetRitualComeBackFocus2022)
One of the most common problems when people are working is that they get caught up in busywork or distractions, and it can take hours before they find their way back to their meaningful work.
Part of that is procrastination, of course, but a lot of times it’s just falling down a rabbithole of distraction, getting caught up in things, and forgetting your focus.
I created a small ritual to address this problem: I call it a “Reset Ritual.”
Here’s how it works:
- Set a reminder to go off in 30 minutes, and focus on something important.
- When the reminder goes off, if you’re not in the middle of focusing on that important task … take a break.
- Get up, get a drink of water, and do some kind of movement. I like to squat on the ground, stretch, do some yoga poses. Any kind of movement for a few minutes is good.
- Then take some slow deep breaths into the belly. Let this calm you and help you return to focus.
- Finally, ask yourself what you want to focus on next. Repeat the steps.
This kind of ritual is simple but it incorporates movement and breath, and asks you to check in on what’s important, throughout the day. This allows us to reset when we inevitably get pulled away.
Sometimes I forget to set a reminder, but I have other cues to help me remember to do the ritual: if my body starts to feel stiff, if I’ve been doing certain distractions for more than a few minutes, if I’ve been doing busywork for more than 10 minutes. If any of those are true, I do the Reset Ritual.