By Leslie Lindsay
I have been off-track today. I am blaming it on this cold I have been sporting since–oh, I don’t know.–the trees bloomed back in March! I think it started as allergies then morphed to a cold and then cleared up and is now back. Lucky me.
I should have been working on some articles today for various publications, but I am not. I stopped at Trader Joe’s and then to Two Bostons Pet Boutique (nothing fancy for this hound, unless you count the Greenies to freshen her breath and the rice/pototo-free food to tame her toots). And then home where I really thought I was going to get some good “work” done. Alas, I started a load of laundry, folded another and futzed around too much on Facebook. You know how it goes.
So do the authors of “The Winner’s Brain,” Drs. Brown and Feske. In fact, they aim to say that focus is actually “Win Factor #3.” That is having it [focus!] is what really factors into the equation to get people to become winners.
The Winner’s Brain: 8 Strategies Great Minds Use to Achieve Success by Jeff Brown, Mark Fenske and Liz Neporent (Mar 22, 2011)
The brain is faced with a “zoo” of distractions that compete for our attention on a near constant basis. In fact, most folks are distracted at least every 3 minutes into a task. Emails! Phone calls! Im’s! Kids! Hounds! They’re everywhere! But a person who is really driven (okay, I’ll say it…a “winner”) has the ability to focus on tasks and activities in the moment, especially when that moment in full of distractions and stressors. They are able to deliberately calibrate their level of FOCUS under a wide array of circumstances and can call on the best type of focus for the task at hand. Humm….who knew we had different types of focus?!
Here are Five Different Steps to Reinvest Your Focus (from the book):
1. Admit to yourself that you are off-task
2. Remind yourself of the original task and why it is important
3. If possible, eliminate the factors that derailed your attention; turn off the cell phone, close email, grab a sandwich, finish a conversation.
4. Choose a starting poin, cue yourself with a word like “go” and get back on-task. Notice the rich details of what you are doing. If you are reading something that you are trying to stay focused on, put a checkmark at the bottom of every pays or every so often, jot a word down in the margin.
5. Pay attention to the small details you may not ordinarily notice to give you a new perspective on the same ol’ task.
I’m always losing focus, unless I am reading or writing! Being an at-home mom has made me feel a little ADD with all other tasks b/c I’m always getting interrupted. When I do have a block of time to focus on a task, I usually end up getting it halfway done and then I skip to another chore.(And so on!) I usually get it all done, but I’m doing 5 things at one time. The only way I can stay focused is to make a list with detailed tasks and cross each one off.