One of today’s greatest risks, as I am personally, increasingly reminded, is an inability to focus. We pride ourselves on all manner of development, evolution, ways to communicate, work together, to create. Yet how much of those positive traits could be even more so if only we could really focus.
I have often commented that, given a goal, I can move mountains. Do you find this to be the same with you as well?
Why is this? What is so unique about a GOAL? I think it simply comes down to this: A goal, driven by sufficient passion, sharpens focus. It’s just that simple.
A goal, driven by sufficient passion, sharpens focus.
Yet, today’s world, particularly in developed nations, is that all these new wondrous things we have developed, are in many cases not much more than distractions if not managed. The need to manage them, is itself a resource-robbing distraction.
For very impressive, entertaining, and even emotionally compelling video on the topic of focus, watch what this TED presenter does with a yo-yo.
For instance, social media. For many, especially as they initially wade into the pool, find it to be an all-consuming resource drain. How many do we know live by their Facebook newsfeed. Either contributing or consuming?
Instant messaging, at work, becoming that little ‘ding dong’ from a colleague that wants to know if you’re around for lunch? Or, for the answer to a question they could spend 3 minutes having figured out on their own; but is a distraction that will cost you 11 minutes to recover from?
11 minutes at a time perhaps, or more, our focus, our directed efforts, are squandered through our days, weeks, and lives.
It is important we are mindful of the issues that rob our focus. Fortunately, in this case, simply being aware of the issue (reflect on it a few moments, if you aren’t already personally aware) empowers us to take action. In an office, trim email distractions by changing your email auto-update frequency from 10 minutes, to 30, 60, or simply exit the app altogether for a couple hours. Social media, try closing the browser, putting an Out-to-Lunch status on your instant messaging, or again, shutting the screen off.
As someone who spends a lot of time offices, working/collaborating with others, and doing more than my fair share of social media participation as well, I do not mean to claim I am immune. Depending on your work, it may simply be necessity.
The challenge is to be aware of your lost focus. Manage the distractions that have nothing to do, can add no value to, that which you need be focused on right NOW.
The thought behind todays post was, at least in part, triggered by a reader’s asking me why I had not posted in while. The answer: I had another project I simply needed to focus on. I really enjoy writing, it’s a favorite passion. But feeling compelled to do a post, as well as a few other things, was simply hampering my ability to move forward on my project.
Maybe my next post will be on Priorities.
Right now, I have a mountain I’m not quite finished moving…