The 9 lessons I learned from being focused
Focus is your best friend.
Sounds like an add, isn’t it? That’s what it is, indeed!
My personal add to all the adults who will read this, but also to the next generations who seem to totally ignore what I am talking about! I am a mother of 2 fantastic teenagers (who drive me crazy, I confess!) who are accustomed to act by themselves, get good grades at school (even if that’s not a landmark of how smart they are…) are curious to some point, but… are absolutely, desperately, constantly unfocused to what they have to achieve. I am doing whatever I can to explain them the why… it remains useless.
I recently had a conversation why a colleague of mine who teaches kids how to swim. He told me how worry he gets so see that kids don’t succeed in staying focused more than 30 seconds… we are talking about swimming lessons… the danger is real if you decide not to listen and stay focused!
I decided to share with you 9 reasons why focus is a “must have” (even a “must be”, should I say!) and my journey to succeed in being focused (which was quite a challenge for me if you consider the fact that I’ve always dealt with ADHD.
1) FOCUS AND WORK EFFICIENCY
Focus helps you being more efficient at work. Obvious, will you say? Indeed! So obvious that a lot of us misses it. Focusing on one task at the time will reduce and avoid being interrupted in your job is the best gift you can offer to yourself. Carlson’s law stays that we are interrupted in average every 20 minutes… and that the time to refocus and be productive again is superior to the duration of interruption. This has always amazed me in a world where you are asked to be more and more productive but the working conditions you encounter are less and less adapted to this demand! So keep focused as much as you can, even if it requires you to completely ignore external stimuli. Maybe your coworkers will be surprised at first, but then, they will get used to it and maybe also imitate this trend when they’ll see how efficient you are!
2) FOCUS HELPS YOU STAY ON TRACK WITH YOUR SCHEDULE
That again, will sound obvious. Parkinson’s law sets that a task stretched to take ALL the time left for it in the end. Keeping your focus, whatever you have to achieve, looks necessary if you want to still have the time to enjoy your life. Even if you are a stay at home Mum, you will need to focus to do the laundry, wash the dishes, prepare the dinner for your beloved ones, etc… AND still have the time to read a good book, enjoy a sunny day outside or watch the last movie you crave watching for a couple weeks!
3) FOCUS IS JUST A HABIT
Uuh? What do you mean? Let’ me tell you about the story of a woman who found herself unable to focus on anything since she was a child. Nobody told her about ADHD or lack of concentration or that kind of bullshit; instead, she was told that despite all the efforts she put in, she was not succeeding… “Oh yeah? Watch me!” was her answer. Like building muscles, building your focus requires time, effort and a method. The more you workout, the easier it gets and the more you will need it as a routine! And if you find THE activity that mesmerizes you so much that the world around you could collapse without you noticing… JACKPOT!
4) THE MORE ANCHORED THE HABIT OF FOCUS, THE LESS DISTRACTED YOU CAN GET
Have you ever noticed how some people seem “in their bubble” even when surrounded with noisy people? Working in an open space remains a nightmare for focus… I admire that kind of people and I have always wondered what their secret was. I have understood since I entered a new relationship, 4 years ago. My partner seems to be focused, WHATEVER happens! And I can promise you that sometimes, it can be a little extreme since I don’t feel heard when I talk to him. Learning to know him helped me understand that it was just focus, not a lack of listening. He is able to focus 100% on his task and he achieves a lot in one day… but always one task at the time!
5) FOCUS BRINGS YOU STRONG AND AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIPS
Do you like speaking with a person whose sight is going from left to right and right to left without focusing on your eyes? No? Me neither! It gives me the feeling that this person doesn’t care about me. Actually, let me bring a nuance since I know that I can be one of these persons, with my brain constantly processing informations… that can be exhausting for me and not lovely for the people I am discussing with or have a relationship with… I am the one who needs focus, more than anybody else!
6) FOCUS ALLOWS YOU TO MAKE GREAT DECISIONS
You wouldn’t probably make important decisions without taking the necessary time to think about it? For sure not! But what if you had a way to reduce this time by knowing exactly what you want, so quickly that you barely had to think about it? Sounds like a fraud, huh? Let’s try anyway! Have you ever been so focused on a specific purpose on a specific purpose that your memory seemed crystal clear and you feel your brain ready to process anything life would throw at you? When you are deeply focused and you know where you’re going, chance that you make decisions quicker and easier than people around you is much bigger.
7) FOCUS HELPS YOU DISCOVER WHO YOU DEAL WITH…
A lot of us have already experienced dealing with negative or toxic people (I mean people showing toxic behaviors). A lot of us have experienced this pain of being in a relationship where the other person was negligent or was lying to us. A lot of us, again, have experienced working with people whose actions or positions were moving as the wind blows… What if being focused could, in a way, save you experiencing that pain? What if your focus could help you decode the behavior and intentions of the person facing you?
8) FOCUS KEEPS YOU AWAY FROM USELESS “NOISE”
Is there really a useful noise? That can be discussed… later! Let’s come back to our topic. The noise I’m talking about is the one you get when listening to people around you who try to distract you with information that can be fake or worrying or questioning your habits without any valuable reason. The wide access to information we do have nowadays emphasizes this trend. As a result, when you are not focused, you end up listening to people or channels giving you useless, incomplete or imprecise information and you lose the track to your own path, the decisions you’ve made or the things you need to accomplish to achieve you goals! Your mental health is endangered with that kind of bad habits…
9) FOCUS INSPIRES OTHERS!
If you are a servant leader (or on your way to become one), focus is one of your advantages that you can use to inspire others. This is what some people “lead by example”. People follow you for who you are and not for the product or services you offer. And of course, people do what you do, not what you say! If you are not focused on your business and get distracted regularly, if you don’t keep the mandatory discipline to succeed (remember? Focus helps you stay on track with your routines, no matter what… and helps you gain in efficiency!) the people who are following you today may not be following you tomorrow because of your lack of alignment. They will also appreciate, when they need your help, that you be 100% focused on them, and not trying to multi task at that moment.
Here it is! Here are the lessons I learned from being focus. The path was long and hard and to be honest with you, the only activity I discovered 6 years ago and that allowed me to experience and develop my focus is translation! If you want to catch a glance at the story, you may find some useful tips if you are dealing with a lack of focus.
Also, I would be happy to hear from you and the way you succeed in staying focused and how it impacts you life. Share your comments below!