Difficulty Concentrating on Work

Updated on April 20, 2008
C.E. asks from Saint Paul, MN
8 answers

Hi All - I have had this problem basically since I became a mom 8 years ago. I struggle to keep my mind focused on my work, and instead do stuff like post on mommy-boards. :) I have no trouble concentrating on books, websites, etc. It is just work. My work is not fabulously exciting and sometimes it is downright boring, and it is not very taxing, but I put myself in bad situations not getting stuff done. If I could just concentrate I could catch up in like a day. Any thoughts or suggestions? P.S., yes, I am always pretty tired, I work FT plus I work out before work ... and I'm a devoted mommy. ;)

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So What Happened?

Hi everyone! Thanks for your replies. I have tried to do what Nicole J. suggested - get my stuff done first, using self-discipline (ahem!), and reward myself with web searches and walks and visiting work pals later. This seems to work the best.

It is kind of funny, because I love working where I work - great benefits, I have a great schedule!! (I leave at 3:30 so I'm home by the time the bus comes home from school!), the pay is good, the atmosphere is great and some of my best friends literally in the world are here at work. BUT, the work ITSELF is boring. The subject matter is very uninteresting. So ... it would be really hard to up and quit such a great situation but ... every meeting I go to I feel like I live in a Dilbert cartoon.

More Answers



answers from Milwaukee on

C., I know this was posted awhile ago but I thought I'd respond anyway. I too am a lawyer and have worked in a few jobs with the same feeling as you. I ended up in terrible situations because I could not just settle for something, no matter how secure. I could not tolerate boring work for which I had no personal passion. Additionally, my pregnancies and child care duties always seemed to be a problem for my employers. Finally, after i had my third child, I decided to go into business for myself. It has been four years of very exciting work and personal fulfillment (nothing beats being my own boss-no rules that do not make sense) combined with financial instability, serious stress of running my own business, and periods of serious illness. I have recently decided to seek employment to simplify my life--at least while my kids are young. I think it's good I have seen both sides and I would ideally like to be somewhere in the middle. I wouldn't be too hard on yourself, you are doing a great thing staying in a secure and healthy environment. It is a really difficult balance--doing work you love and are engaged in and being secure. I was very depressed when I was in a job like you describe-but also depressed when we struggle financially. Of course you need to find your way but maybe this will provide some insight.



answers from Minneapolis on

I too could be mistaken for a 'professional internet surfer', I have loads of downtime during my work day...

I make myself do my work first, then I get to surf, self discipline...

Usually I can get most of my work done by 10am...really everyday, then I surf the rest of the day, usually by Friday I am surfed out.

I would just start with self discipline and make your self get your work done first...or when something lands on your desk give yourself a 20 minute time frame to get that done in...



answers from Minneapolis on

I feel for ya because it is hard...especially when you get into a rutt, work can be looked at as an interruption. I worked with a gal who got herself into trouble as well, and eventually lost her job because she also couldn't concentrate on work enough, even after her supv. got involved and had IS turn off her access to the internet/games, etc. Not saying that this is where you are...but there are ways for you to be proactive on your efforts, as it sounds like you want to be.

Talk to your supv. and see if IS can remove access to the web/games, or even deny access to specific chat rooms, etc, specifically for your computer, like all of your favorite sites.) This can also be a temporary access change until you can learn self control. If you are denighed access just to sites that are tempting to you, like your chat rooms, etc...you could still surf the website during lunch, but you won't be tempted during the day or stay onto those chatrooms too long after lunch.

Ask your boss for additional work to keep your mind off of personal issues, and ask for a task that challenges your mind more than your regular work does, just for some added stimulation. Sounds like that's what you're missing. :)

Good luck.



answers from Minneapolis on

I'm like you and it can get you into a lot of trouble and you may even get written up or terminaed. I'm actually at work replying. I would read the company policy and if it allows some then use your say, two 10 minute breaks on it and some of your lunch hour. You need to have self control and disapline. If you realize the concequences of what may happen maybe you'll be less determined to go on as much as you may do. My company is going to relocate and it's hard to stay focused when you know you're losing the job you enjoy so much. In my circumstance I'm not falling behind on my work and I've recently been going on more than I know I should.



answers from Minneapolis on

I'm alot like that too. If it's not interesting I have absolutely no attention span whatsoever and find it impossible to make myself comprehend. I will worm my way out of it or give up anything to not deal with it. I will daydream, get off the subject or just find something more interesting to do. Like go on mommasource like you have done.

Now if it's interesting to me I can spend hours on end listening or working on something. Very dedicated self driven.

I had ADD as a child back in the early 90's and just stopped taking ritalin and never dealt with again but I wonder if that's like adult ADD? I can't even make it through college.

Because I'm like this, I have never really found a job or career that can hold my attention span. I get bored, distracted, and burnt out very easily and move on and job hop.

Could you be depressed? I know I am at times and you start losing interest in things and just don't care about the same things anymore.



answers from Milwaukee on

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answers from Minneapolis on

I think you should either find a more inspiring job or figure out a way to enjoy the job that you have. Getting paid is not enough to keep you motivated - you need some other reward from your job. Do you feel like part of a team? It helps if you feel you're making a real contribution to your company and that your hard work is recognized.

Discipline alone is not enough. It sounds like you need something more inspiring to keep you going.




answers from Minneapolis on

start a job search. LOLOL

seriously, if you don't enjoy what you are doing there, why are you sticking around?

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