FOCUS
  • Concentrating efforts along the right priorities in an effective manner
  • Honing attention, time and energy into fulfilling specific responsibilities
  • Guarding against distractions and saying “no” to that which degrades high-quality performance

COMMENTARY:
Let me set a scene that might be unwelcomingly familiar to you: you’re sitting at your desk, eyes glazed like your favorite dessert cake, and head filled with pretty much anything but the task you’re supposed to be working on. Before you know it, an hour has passed, and you have hardly made a dent in your workload.

Staying on task can be difficult, but it can be particularly challenging when you are surrounded by constant distraction. In today's electronic connected world, detours are nothing more than a click away. Even during quiet moments, distraction is literally at your fingertips as you find yourself checking your email or trying to catch up on the latest news. 

In my spare time, I like to watch television shows from years past and I recently rediscovered the Golden Girls. The topic of focus reminds me of an episode where Dorothy, Blanche & Rose are sitting around the kitchen table trying to decide how to take full advantage of the rainy day and do chores that need to be done around the house. Even before the days of Facebook and streaming television, distractions were everywhere; cookies, pizza, Jeopardy and cake! As night falls, the Girls finally turn the TV off just in time for Sophia to get home from her busy but productive day. They tell her they took care of odds and ends around the house, although they are clearly still in their morning bathrobes.

Creating structure and accountability for ourselves can be a challenge at any stage of life. The easiest way to free yourself from the usual distractions is by changing your surroundings to one that you associate with work. You are more likely to hold yourself accountable, and less likely to fall into the distraction traps. If you are more outgoing and need a little caffeine, go sit at a coffee shop. If you are more focused in complete silence, go to a library. If you don't need internet, go somewhere you can't connect to the Wifi. When we shift to being intentional, we are empowered to make a change in behavior that serves us better. Now get off your email and get started!
 
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Key Words and Phrases
To concentrate attention; Emphasis; Fasten; Center; Train; To have a clear perception; To bring to focus.

Opposite Terms
Blurry; Out of focus; Without direction.
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