Is Your Personal Life Making It Hard to Focus at Work?

On this episode of My Crazy Office, Kathi and Katherine address a problem that everyone faces at one time or another, what do you do when your personal life makes it hard to focus at work? We’ll start with a question from someone who just got promoted into a great new job, but also has to deal with several personal problems — making it hard to focus. We’ll discuss how to stay focused at work and deal with personal challenges at the same time.

Why Can’t I Find a Good Boss?

Sometimes it seems like a good boss is impossible to find. On this My Crazy Office podcast, Kathi and Katherine examine why it’s so difficult to find skilled bosses, what it means to manage up, and how to make working for a bad boss better.

How To Listen: My Crazy Office Overtime, Season 9

Kathi and Katherine talk about listening on this week’s My Crazy Office Overtime show.

How do you listen when you don’t like what the other person is saying?

Listen to this week’s podcast here.

Are You Giving Yourself Credit?

As we move through week 10 of sheltering in place, it may be difficult to give yourself credit for much. You may have trouble focusing at work. You may be tired of making the best of a confined living situation. You may feel that you just aren’t getting things done. Instead of holding yourself to pre-COVID standards, why not look at your current circumstances through the lens of accomplishment? Here are some things for which you probably deserve credit:  

Managing work and home

These days work and home are so blended that it’s hard to “turn off” one to fully focus on the other. Yet somehow, you’ve managed to perform your work duties while juggling home responsibilities, whether they involve cleaning, cooking, child care, animal care, family care or home maintenance. You deserve a round of applause for that. 

Handling social isolation

Even if you’re an introvert who prefers being alone, this degree of social isolation is hard. Human beings are social beings at the core. The pandemic has deprived us of even casual social contact with people on the street or in public places. Whatever your situation, give yourself credit for enduring the isolation and taking actions to maintain safe contact with co-workers, family and friends.

Living alone

For those who live alone, sheltering in place can be particularly challenging. It takes courage to keep your spirits up, to stay out of catastrophic thinking, and to trust that this too shall pass. Your ability to be resilient, to take one day at a time and to find creative ways of staying connected to others deserves recognition. 

Living with others

It’s one thing to live with others during normal times. Each person is able to come and go, and shared space is only shared for short periods of time. Sheltering in Place has created a completely different dynamic. Now, it can be hard to have a quiet moment, find privacy, or feel relief. It may seem like everything you do is scrutinized, or that everything you do goes unappreciated. Whatever your experience has been, give yourself credit for keeping your cool most of the time, and for successfully sharing a home under extremely stressful conditions.

Being patient

Even if you don’t feel patient, you have been patient enough to weather the restrictions placed on you because of COVID-19, and to follow the guidelines of your local and state leaders. You’ve patiently waited for instructions about how to live your life, what kind of contact is permissible and when you may be able to resume certain activities. Patience during times of uncertainty is NOT easy. Give yourself credit.

Moving forward

Preparing to step out into the world, into your workplace, and into your community may be anxiety provoking, but it is part of returning to life. You are doing it. You will be doing it. And as you take the initial steps to return to certain locations and activities, you can give yourself credit for taking the necessary precautions and getting back into the game.

Katherine Crowley – Career Therapist and co-owner of K Squared Enterprises.

Contact us at for any further help around this topic.

The Importance of Being Patient with Yourself

As many of us move through week nine of sheltering in place, it becomes more and more difficult to simply “keep calm and carry on.” 

Some of us may have started the quarantine with high hopes of a brief but successful period of isolation. Some of us may have used this time to launch creative projects, institute family activities, or get busy with different forms of home improvement. And some of us may have been contending with the actual virus – either because we contracted the illness ourselves or because a family member contracted it. 

Whatever your experience has been during this time, I can guarantee that it hasn’t been easy. It’s likely that you’ve had days of great productivity, and days of no productivity. You’ve felt good at times, and lousy at other times. You’ve probably encountered moments of hope and clarity followed by moments of hopelessness and confusion. 

Why does this matter? It matters because as we continue to cope with COVID-19, it’s important to also practice patience with our own process. Being patient with your process means you make room for your feelings, forgive your mistakes, and allow yourself to start again. 

  • Don’t minimize your experience. It can be tempting to engage in comparisons regarding your suffering versus the suffering of others. You may feel that because you didn’t contract the virus or lose your job, you have no right to have bad days. This attitude minimizes your experience and squelches your emotions, which does not help you feel better. You can feel badly for others and still pay attention to your experience. 
  • Give yourself permission to have a range of feelings. It would be normal to cycle through a wide range of feelings at this time – anxiety, sadness, anger, frustration, excitement, happiness, irritation, relief. All of these feelings are probably moving through you. Think of emotions as “energy in motion,” the more you acknowledge them, the faster they pass.
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you slip into unhealthy habits. I’ve spoken with a number of people who find themselves over-eating, over-drinking, over-texting, obsessively playing video games or shopping online. If you have an unhealthy habit you’ve slipped back into, do your best not to beat yourself up. Instead, reach out for support and try to get healthy again.
  • Allow yourself to start again. If you have a bad day, perform poorly at work, or fail to meet your own expectations some way, allow yourself to start again. It can be tempting to mentally punish yourself for mistakes and missteps. This does not help. Be patient with yourself and simply promise to do better next time. 
  • Ask for support if you need it. You may want to seek the support of a close friend, an understanding family member, or a professional coach or counselor. Asking for support is an important step in giving yourself room to express what you are going through and feel understood. 

Being patient with yourself may seem anti-intuitive during a pandemic. You may think that you should to be alert and on-the-ball at all times. But practicing patience with yourself will actually help you feel better, perform better and be more patient with others during this incredibly stressful time.

Katherine Crowley – Career Therapist and co-owner of K Squared Enterprises.

Contact us at for any further help around this topic.