I wear glasses. Thick glasses with progressive lenses because my vision is pretty terrible.
I’ve gotten used to wearing them every day, but the one thing that irks me about wearing glasses is how they fog up when I come in from the cold. This morning I walked with my kids to school and then came home to write. The moment I settled into my chair, the fog set in on my glasses. This meant I had to wait for a few moments before I could start the writing process.
But sometimes not seeing clearly can be a good thing for your work and your productivity.
That’s because it gives you time to figure out what you need (or want) to focus on when you can see clearly again.
You may not wear glasses like I do, but I’m sure the inability to see clearly has happened to you from time to time. Has the internet ever gone down on you? What about the power in your home or office? Ever run out of juice on your mobile device?
If any of the above has happened to you, then you’ve lost sight of what’s available to you – at least temporarily. But that’s not necessarily a problem.
Sure, losing the ability to work online – especially if your business or work requires it – can be a concern, but there’s always something you can do offline that moves your work forward.
Maybe the internet downtime will give you some time to think without distraction. Perhaps you could fix up your workspace to make it more aligned with your personal workflow. Is it possible you could even map out a contingency plan when more of these unexpected moments of fog show up? (After all, they will happen again.)
You can do all of the above… and more. In fact, you should because there will be times when you can see everything that you need (and want to do) when you are not seeing very clearly at all.
When my glasses were completely fogged up, I decided to open up my task management app to realign my workweek as I’ll be traveling for the next nine days. Thanks to the fog I could only see malformed letters, coloured dots, and fragments of dates. Yet in that haze, there was a message of clarity: I had a lot on my plate that I don’t need or want to do. While I couldn’t see them clearly, I instinctively knew this was the case.
So all I did in that moment was add a new task to the app: Cut down “ought to do” tasks scheduled for the next 11 days.
By the time I finished typing that, the fog had lifted and I began to write. This piece is what poured out of my mind, through my fingers and onto the screen.
Being self-aware is essential if you want to become more productive. It’s easy to overlook this in the busyness of our daily lives. But in those moments where the fog presents itself, the best thing you can do is try to tap into that self-awareness. It is going to be the only thing you can really trust at the time. Then, when you can see again through the fog, you’ll be able to see clearly.
And seeing clearly is the only way you should ever want to see.