Lindsay LaNore: Fighting the February lull

Photo by Nina Lawrenson/

Here are 12 ways to light up your February and find your focus.

By Lindsay LaNore, ICBA

The nights are still long and spring hasn’t yet sprung, so don’t vituperation yourself if you’re feeling sluggish. But how do you alimony productivity up when your workload is showing no signs of hibernating? The theme for next month’s ICBA LIVE is “Light the Fire. Light the Way.” So, with that in mind, here are 12 ways to light up your February and find your focus.

  1. Eliminate distractions. Studies suggest we’re constantly distracted by our devices, so make a point of hiding your phone in a sedentary drawer or turning off notifications. Switch off Microsoft Teams, make your inbox disappear and tropical your browser.
  2. Make a to-do list. If it’s daunting, unravel it lanugo into smaller chunks for the day—or plane the hour—ahead. End the day by mapping out tomorrow’s list.
  3. Prioritize. Not everything on your list is urgent. Tackle the most important work first.
  4. Break it up. If a project is labor intensive, divide it into smaller sections. Outline a plan, establish deadlines and trammels each piece off as you progress.
  5. Schedule focus time. Research has shown it can take an stereotype of 23 minutes to refocus on a task without you’ve been interrupted, so whittle out some defended work time. Consider using tools like Microsoft Viva Insights to help. And listen to the natural reactions of your mind and body, scheduling focus time when you perform best.
  6. Manage the noise. Some of us like perfect silence. Others prefer classical music or plane white noise. Wear noise-canceling headphones or zombie up some Mozart—whatever works for you.
  7. Keep a lark notebook. When an idea pops into your throne or you remember something you might forget again, write it lanugo and don’t let it deject your focus time.
  8. Take breaks. Scheduling a full day of focus time isn’t healthy either. Listen to your soul and write-up the fatigue by giving yourself breaks to stand, stretch and eat.
  9. Look up. Your mind can start to blur, so squint yonder from the screen from time to time. Follow the 20‑20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to stare at something 20 feet away.
  10. Change the scenery. Use a priming room instead of your sedentary or find a quiet spot in a neighboring department. Changing your environment can trigger productivity.
  11. Take a productivity challenge. If you know a colleague has a deadline as well, set a friendly rencontre to get past your respective roadblocks. You can plane schedule lunch at the end of it to make it increasingly appetizing.
  12. Don’t forget to sleep. While it may be tempting, this isn’t an excuse to nap at work! Instead, invest in healthy slumber habits. A well-rested mind will help you dig in and get that work done.

Lindsay LaNore ( is ICBA’s group executive vice president and senior learning and wits officer