Mastery - Day 7 - FOCUS

Focus cannot be forced. Trying hard to concentrate produces frustration and tiredness.
  • Focus comes from interest in what we are doing
Our attention to a task inevitably wanders, that shift in attention is not necessarily a loss of focus, the brain may be hunting for more data in the world around it, sometimes that attention can land in an area that is not serving - and then we lose focus and find we are doing the wrong thing.

Develop your awareness

To practice focus become more consciously aware of where your attention has shifted to, consciously notice what has distracted you, the more you choose to become consciously aware of your distractions the greater your awareness of your true priorities become also.

An immediate and present example - I looked away from the screen to imagine and construct one of the sentences above, I started in thought and soon found I was looking at the grey clouds outside today, wondering if it might rain a little more…
  • "I'm looking at clouds, I need to be writing about Focus"
This practice of really noticing and acknowledging the wandering of the mind can be very helpful - the more aware and observant of your distractions and indeed your own hang-ups or emotional reactions that you become, the earlier and earlier you can intervene and choose to place your mind elsewhere, which must be in the present, in the task at hand.
  • Speak your distraction, acknowledge it and then speak your priority - this will help to bring focus.

Focus cannot be forced - it comes from interest 

In ball games we are told to keep our eyes on the ball - if you want to take it further, don't just watch the ball, but observe which way the ball is spinning as it flies through the air.
  • Your deeper observation, your deeper interest, is your focus.
Take whatever your task at hand is, and observe which way the ball is spinning in that task - ask a deeper question, drive your interest and drive your focus.

I took this photograph in 2008
I recalled it when thinking about the clouds outside today
In conversation, for example, notice and inwardly acknowledge your internal commentary, that will allow you to switch that commentary off, you will engage more deeply in the conversation and be better partner in discussion.

Day 8

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