#Focus Friday: Need to Focus? Run Away from Your Desk. It Works for Me

Ken Ericson. Xerox Public Relations


Because we all approach our workday a little differently, it only makes sense that finding the best way to stay focused and organized should be a good fit to the way we work and how we live.  Case in point: while some people find that making a list and working through it can be effective, when I make a list and have a lot to do, I get too tied up in what I’m doing and don’t pay attention to the list, so it’s not very helpful.

(note to self: add “pay more attention to lists” to my to-do list)

Lists aside (literally), what helps me focus is to go running.  At the end of the day, getting away from the never-ending avalanche of email and the buzzing of my BlackBerry can be a great way to clear your head and recalibrate workplace priorities.  Also, spending time doing some “mental housecleaning” can make a longer run quickly breeze by.  And when I’m done I’m totally re-energized and have more clarity than when I left (along with the occasional sore knees).

One other thing:  by running, I’ve completed one of my personal goals so I have an even greater sense of accomplishment, which helps me dig into my work even more.

While running works for me, the point is that you may get the same end result from your personal passion or hobby, whether it’s taking a walk in the park, listening to your favorite music, cooking, or anything else.  The time away, however brief, can be a great way to hit the reset button* so when you step back into the workplace you’re more focused on the tasks at hand.

The more the line blurs between work and home, the easier it can be to get “wrapped around the axle” when it comes to staying organized.  In your search to find a solution that works for you, sometimes it may be best to walk (or in my case, run) away from what you’re doing to help clear your head.  The change of scenery and rejuvenation can do wonders.


#FocusFriday is a weekly conversation helping people with productivity in the office.  Posts can be at the same time fun and serious, in the spirit of the company’s Business of Your Brain app, yet always focused on what matters most, Real Business.

*Updated November 21, 2017.

Related Posts

Receive Updates


  1. Candace Nahrgang June 28, 2011 - Reply

    I really enjoyed the coments by Ken Ericson.

    Ken made some good points I agree with. We all need time to unwind with something we enjoy just to regroup,and do our job better.

    Thanks Ken for the thought.


  2. […] those, there are 120 songs in a playlist for when I run. They’re mostly fast-tempo, heart-pumping tunes that help me go the extra mile. There are older […]

Post A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To see how we protect your personal data, view our Privacy Policy.