“Feel like I can’t concentrate on anything at the moment.”
“I’m finding it almost impossible to focus on anything at all.”
“My productivity has plummeted.”
“Suddenly, it takes a herculean effort to get anything of substance done.”
What’s happening is a malfunction of working memory: the ability to grasp incoming information, form it into cohesive thought, and hold onto it long enough to do what you need to with it. Rapidly-changing circumstances, worry and anxiety can all have a significant impact on your ability to focus. Even if you’re not explicitly aware of bing more on edge, it’s something you’re processing. Working memory problmes might also be due in part to a cognitive load that’s overwhelming your brain’s capacity.
There’s an idea that anxiety somehow eats up your capacity. When you’re anxious, your head is full of those thoughts, and your brain is somehow biased and paying more attention to negative things. Sustained anxiety can also cause insomnia. Lack of sleep is a really good way of impairing working memory. If your’re not sleeping as well, that’s a great way to wreck it.
Rebooting your working memory may mean cutting down on your news consumption and considering a break from social media. But the most effective thing to do might simpy be to convince yourself it’s OK to be struggling.
Giving yourself permission to feel it’s OK to not feel OK, paradoxically, can make your more OK.
If you are just fixating on it, you aren’t going to get anything done. You’re just not going to be as productive, and there’s nothing wrong with not being able to work at 100% capacity.