Have you heard the buzz about brain fog? Are you more frequently thinking to yourself that you used to be so much faster at things? More focused? That everything seems a little harder these days? My clients feel it too. I feel it too. Everyone I talk to feels it. The problem about brain fog other than just not feeling like your old self? You are losing time and money to it, and we just do NOT have time for that. In this post, I explore how brain fog creeps in, how it hurts your bottom line, and how to combat it.
It starts so innocently
I am willing to bet you feel me here. You are deep in the throes of work (or trying to get motivated to get into the deep throes of work) and then . . .
Ding! You have mail! Ooh! OH MY GOSH – Bath and Body Works is having a sale on holiday soap! I must buy some. Now! Buying soap at $3.00 is 100% the most important thing in my life right now and everything else must wait! I must drop everything and buy it now! (including finishing up that document for that partner who told me they wanted it in their hands by tomorrow) because . . . soap! This cheap! Need to have it! Next thing you know you lost half an hour but you feel “accomplished” because you scored a great deal on all of that holiday-scented soap that you just HAD to have. To recap, you just lost a .5.
Don’t try and tell me that has never happened to you. Maybe it wasn’t soap. Maybe it was your favorite brand of shoes. Maybe it was the Nordstrom anniversary sale. Maybe it was that great deal at Athleta. Maybe it was a meal subscription you keep wanting to try. Why did I use soap in this example? Because if you are reading this, I am guessing $3.00 doesn’t mean much to you in the grand scheme of things (hence why you are stoked).
But – We are stealing money and time from ourselves
For my law moms that are billing time, let’s pretend your hourly rate is $300.00 an hour. If that is the case, $3.00 is worth 1/100th of an hour to you. That is less than a .1. That actually translates to less than a minute of your billable time. Why the HECK are we letting something as silly as soap, valued at way less than a .1 . . . take over a .5 of our day? If your billable rate is $300.00 an hour, why did you just lose $150.00 on $3.00 soap?
While you may not see it in your wallet, you just stole $150.00 from yourself . . . for $3 soap! You could have made that money easily for your firm (or yourself). You could have added another .5 to your day. You could have met your billables at 5 PM instead of 530PM and now you are running late to pick up your kiddo at daycare. But . . . you let the call of soap (soap!) get you.
I don’t say this to beat you up. I say this because I have been there. I know what it is like. I know how those e-mails can pull you in and make you think you need to act right now! Of course, they do. I am willing to bet those companies spend a s***ton of money on their marketing to ensure we drop everything we are doing to get the best deal right away! Now don’t get me wrong, are you allowed to search for the perfect soap at the perfect price? Of COURSE! But not at the expense of the day you WANTED and PLANNED to have. Not at the expense of losing ½ hour because of $3.00 soap.
And it is so much more than that. It is so much more than losing money. I need you to read this because I fear you are also losing yourself and only contributing to your brain fog.
Huh? I am not following. Keep reading . . . I get there.
So THIS is brain fog?
I don’t know who needs to hear this . . . but if you find yourself feeling scatterbrained, unproductive at work, and under some massive brain fog . . . I am going to ask you to turn off your gosh darn notifications. I want you to try it for a week. I want you to see if that fog starts to lift.
Yes. All notifications. Every single one of them. Even! (gasp) the one that dings you when “You Have Mail!”
Think about it . . . never has there been a time when we have been so audibly, sensory, and visually violated throughout the workday when we are trying to think clearly and get things done. We are interrupted constantly.
From loud pings on our phone; to our watches buzzing us a few times every hour to alert us to emails, texts, and to stand; and to see alerts whooshing across our desktop monitor because we accidentally clicked a button that prompted us to “allow notifications.” It doesn’t end – and it is only getting worse. Did you notice that lately when you turn on any social media platform, you are getting more and more sucked in? More and more time is slipping through your fingers (and showing up in your billables).
According to Google, since 2019 we have increased our usage of our devices by about 30%. While yes, some of this can be “blamed” on the pandemic . . . that doesn’t mean the trend isn’t happening. “Just because” the increase occurred during the pandemic when we were stuck at home doesn’t mean that it isn’t real and isn’t happening.
Truth is – we are very sucked in and it is hard to dig out of that hole without help. Those new habits of scrolling are hard to break. That, coupled with the fact that we are at the mercy of every single ping, buzz, vibration, and whoosh, no wonder our brains are confused!!! And tired. So tired. What does all of this result in? Have you felt foggy lately? Is your brain not working as well as it used to? Can you not hammer out assignments as quickly as you used to? All of that? That is brain fog.
So – What do I do about it?
We must turn off that noise. We must do so in order for YOU to clear the brain fog and buy yourself a productive week (for free!).
What does this mean? There should be absolutely no noise (dare I say ever) that is coming from your phone, watch, or computer to alert you that . . .
Walker Hayes just posted a new Tik Tok dance!
Your bestie just texted you about dinner in 2 weeks.
That Facebook group you are in is blowing up with flash sales.
Your watch is mad at you and wants you to close your rings.
Your associate just emailed you 10 e-mails in a span of 5 minutes.
Your group text is blowing up with the best legging ever and where to go get them – right now!
Your new client is barraging your e-mail with pictures from her vacation with the kids 2 summers ago that you absolutely must use in court.
Your phone is ringing (likely a call from the auto warranty people).
So and so is LIVE on IG!
Turn all of those suckers off. ALL OF THEM. Don’t know how? Google it. Worried about not closing your rings on your watch and you don’t want to lose steps? First, take off as many apps to buzz you as you can on your watch. Then, take off your watch when you sit down at your desk. You will be okay without it for an hour or two – I swear.
Remember this, YOU are in charge of your day. Not your email, not your texts, not FaceBook, not IG, not TikTok, not your besties, not even your mom. YOU. When you get to the office and you know what you want to accomplish, that is first. What you decided. Not the internet, social media, the companies, etc. You.
I encourage you to take a week with ZERO notifications or dings and let me know how it goes.
Still stuck and want more?
If you are reading this and know you are suffering from brain fog and are trying to crawl your way to a better lawyer life, I am here to help! This is what I do as a life coach to lawyers.
You can read more about my services here. I can guarantee that in as little as 3 months, you will be well on your way to a more productive self.
I invite you to book a 20-minute discovery call with me. We will just talk. Like real people. If you want to work with me, awesome! If not, I am glad we got to meet for a short while. No hard and fast push at the end. Book here!