Let me give you an example that you might relate to. Imagine this.
The crucial meeting which you’re attending has the department leader describing the yearly targets and plans with minute details. The room is full of people nodding their heads and soaking in every word spoken by her. But you find yourself zoning in and out, thoughts of yesterday’s sports final, that grocery shopping list and your friend’s upcoming birthday crossing your mind too frequently. You are jerked out of your chair when she asks you a question and you fumble. ‘Where’s your focus?’ she exclaims. Sounds familiar?
Something similar used to happen to me during my school days. During the class, I would often find myself looking out the window at the green fields (yes, my school was in a remote location at the time) only to have my teacher asking me to stand up and explain what he/she had just taught.
And if that’s not the case, you’re frequently distracted, losing track of time and ultimately leading to irritation for not completing the task at hand at the cost of quality. Delay in anything that you do is also a sad byproduct of losing focus.
With sounds, chatter, visual stimulation and the incessant beep of the mobile phone, it’s really not easy to achieve focus. But once you learn to do it, you can learn better, accomplish a lot more work in lesser time, give justice to your family time and improves your overall performance at work. Undivided, unwavering focus on whatever you’re doing, whether it’s about creating a business document, a proposal, cooking, painting or playing with your child, yields unbelievable benefits.
All too often, we hear the common retort “But I’m doing too many things, I’ve got so much on my mind” Well, we all have, don’t we? But unless we deliberately train our mind and learn to focus, it’s never going to be possible. How then, can we do that?
- Monitor your mind and the thoughts that keep fleeting through it. Be aware of the triggers of a mind straying from its core work. Catch it in its act and pull it back to the core. With practice, you can focus more and stray less.
- Meditate early in the morning or whenever you have time. Meditation and deep breathing ( repetitions of cycles of 3 seconds of inhalation and 4 seconds of exhalation) keep the mind focused. Imagine how a batsman plays for hours on end without losing his stance. Imagine how a surgeon stands up on his feet and works on his patient’s heart or brain, a single error or which can cost his life.
- Follow work lists. One work at a time and nothing else. If you’re at preparing the balance sheet, keep the phone away. Resist temptation to check the mail popping up in your inbox. Finish the task completely, or at least as much as possible and then turn to the next one. Being prepared with all the needed tools, information and documents allows seamless, undistracted work. Read more....