I am always amazed how productive I can be when I have a singular focus and channel my energy into that one thing. I walk away feeling like I have this tremendous day or week where I’ve achieved some productivity nirvana. The very next thought is always the same, “why can’t I always be this way?”. I’m reminded of the talking dog in the animated movie Up. His special collar let him communicate with humans, but at any moment he would yell out, “squirrel!” Then off he would run to chase after it.
Especially in the modern era of innumerable distractions it can be very difficult to find time to focus. Mentally surfing and keeping a high-level multitasking perspective can be important at times, but it’s when we can come down from the penthouse view of our inner cityscape that we can focus our energies into accomplishing difficult and complex tasks. I think this is a very real issue for many people. They have a limited view of what they are capable of because they so rarely put all their mental energy into a single task or project. When I look back on the most profound work projects I have accomplished, they all required this skill. Each of them required a singular focus, even if only for portions of the project timeline for me to be successful. How inconsistent is your concentration and focus? What are your squirrel distractions? What could you accomplish if you could address these issues?
What is your strategy to handle all the daily distractions that come your way? Are you being distracted from choosing the most important actions that will place you on the path to your best future?
Each of us has varying natural capacities to focus. My science and engineering friends seem to get lost in the details of their current project and my more creative friends must exercise more discipline to capture their focus. Recruiting more focus has always helped me maintain a level of consistency when battling the distractions of the day. This is an area where my handwriting analysis practice can be of great assistance. There is a simple task that can help those among us for whom focusing is more of a discipline than second nature. Take 5 minutes each morning and write as small as you can on a piece of paper. Any topic or note to someone is just fine, but make sure you write smaller than you currently do. The science of Graphotheraphy will do the rest.
This blog is part of a series from the book Discover Your Best Life by Mike Hintz. His personal, professional, and spiritual growth tools are also featured in Northlink Retreats. If this topic resonates with you consider reading the book or attending one of the upcoming retreats.