The Importance of Focus [VIDEO]
Ironically enough, I have started to write this article approximately five times. Ineveitably, each time I start typing, I am distracted. These various distractions include my iPhone, co-workers, thirst, Facebook, email and my boss.
That’s life. Our days are filled with endless distractions. In the midst of our crazy lives, how do we focus? Multi-tasking is a myth. In an article that I read this morning on MindShift.com, Author Katrina Schwartz shared this quote from Daniel Goleman, a psychologist and author of Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence and other books about social and emotional learning.
“When people say they’re ‘multitasking,’ what they are really doing is something called ‘continuous partial attention,’ Goleman says, where the brain switches back and forth quickly between tasks.”
Katrina’s article delves more into the reason why students may need to be taught how to pay attention in addition to the subjects they are teaching, but I found this article enlightening for individuals of all ages.
Our culture has changed dramatically as technology has progressed exponentially over the last twenty years. When the film Back to the Future Part II was released in 1989.
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Watch the clip. Talking over the television – it’s like facetime on the iPhone. Our fashion sense is better than predicted, but the technology has progressed even farther than imagined.
Our ability to communicate and interact with each other via text, email, phone, facetime and social media is unprecedented. Our access to music, videos, art and media has so few limits that the value we place on it has decreased.
It’s hard to fathom, but radio is only about 100 years old. Think about that for a second. Before Marconi helped usher radios into the home, the only way you heard music was via gramophone or in person. Today we rarely take the time to listen thouroughly to entire piece of music. In short, we take it for granted.
Our distractions are limitless. The ability to focus has never been more important, so how do we improve our focus?
Remove your distractions. If something requires your focus, create an environment where there is no email, no phone, no distractions. Designate time for yourself to work without them and make time after to respond to texts, calls and emails.
Assign value to your time, and allow yourself to concentrate on one task at a time to increase your effectiveness.
“The more you can concentrate the better you’ll do on anything, because whatever talent you have, you can’t apply it if you are distracted,” Goleman noted in the article.