Welcome to the second article on Focus. Let’s start with crafting an operational definition.
A person can focus on a specific task, object, or thought. A quick dictionary search might reveal ‘concentration’ is a better word for what I am discussing.
Concentration: The exclusive attention to one object, close mental application. (Dictionary.com)
For my purposes, close mental application is what I’m looking for. A well-developed ability to be in the moment without distraction should prove beneficial for writers, artists, students, and others attempting to master a skill. The ability to skillfully use ‘close mental application’ is a critical tool for soldiers, firefighters, and law enforcement officials.
If used correctly, focus (close mental application) is the essence of Situational Awareness. The caveat for public protectors is that each individual must also avoid tunnel vision. The ideal is to be focused on the situation / environment, rather than a single aspect of the incident.
I’ve also focused on long term goals. Sticking to a major project is an underrated skill. Many people want to write a novel or learn a musical instrument, but fail to commit to daily work and delayed gratification. In later aspect, I will consider Long Term Focus in more detail.
What are some things that might help Immediate Focus? Check out the Happy Neuron Blog (Brainfitnessforlife.com) for some basic tips. Seven are listed on the blog. I will discuss one and mention two.
Start your day with a healthy breakfast and don’t be so serious. Laugh when you can. That will likely be the best part of your day, don’t you think?
That is good advice, as the other suggestions on the Happy Neuron Blog. The item that caught my interest, however, is the assertion that humans are programed for a break every two hours. It doesn’t have to be much. A short walk, a bit of humor, things like that.
I like the idea of a short break every couple of hours, because modern life is go, go, go, hey everyone let’s multi-task to maximize productivity. Look at me, I can do it all as long as I consume energy drinks. Watch out for the sugar crash…
My personal take-away tip: stop multi-tasking. Decide in advance. I will focus on reading this book. Or, I will now give my kids all of my attention. Maybe, I am going to enjoy this movie without checking my Facebook page.
In future articles, I will discuss using a timer to maximize Immediate Focus.
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Scott Moon earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree of Public Administration at Wichita State University. He writes fiction, practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and plays in a rock band during his free time. Dragon Badge, Dragon Attack, and Enemy of Man are speculative fiction novels available for sale through Amazon and other online retailers.