Keeping Your Focus

May 26, 2011 by Rose Cook

As a wife, mom and businesswoman, I pride myself on being able to get things done.  A lot of things.Sometimes all at once, taking the art of multitasking to a new level.  As I force myself to stop and come up for a breath of fresh air, I have to ask myself, what am I actually accomplishing here?  Am I simply pushing through one task to get to the next, not really giving any of these things my full attention? 

What’s missing here I can sum up in one word.  FOCUS.  In our daily routines, our drive to be productive and efficient can also lead to a loss of priorities.  The book FOCUS, by Leo Babauta, really gave me an insight to the benefits of single-tasking.  As he states in the book, the ability to focus will, “allow us to slow down and find peace of mind.  It’ll allow us to simplify and focus on less – on the essential things, the things that matter most.”

We are constantly inundated by distractions.  Phones, texts, e-mails, IM’s, Twitter; everything that’s competing for our attention is taking our attention away from something else.  Being continuously connected has become so normal we feel lost without our texts, e-mails and Facebook.  Yet, when trying to get something done, these very items regularly throw us off track.  Here are some tips offered in the book that I’ve implemented into my life as I strive be become a singletasker:

* Unplug.  Turn off the e-mail and/or other notifications on your computer and cell phone. This allows you to completely focus on the task at hand, not the multiple things pinging for your attention.
* Prioritize.  Make a to-do list for the day and select the most important task on it.
* Schedule. Block out time each day to give that task your full, undivided attention.  Even if the other items on your list don’t get completed, you will have the satisfaction of knowing the most important item can be checked off the list.

What I’ve found is by simply choosing the most important task I need to accomplish, I’m actually enjoying the process of completing it.  I feel more productive for just giving it my full attention and great satisfaction in its completion. I can honestly say that by taking control of my own attitude, especially when an unpleasant task may be at the top of the priority list, I am truly more focused and more productive.  It’s amazing what your undivided, undistracted attention can accomplish.

I’ve only touched on the basic ideas of the book, but I now realize I was getting bogged down with too many insignificant tasks instead of focusing in on the true priorities. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of things you need to accomplish in your day, it may be a good read for you too.

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