Focus For Success

In a world dominated by distraction the ability to focus is an essential ingredient of success. The old-fashioned habit of giving our attention to one thing at a time is back in vogue, as the relationship between focus and success is rediscovered. But what does it mean for today’s digital generation raised on a diet of interruption and disruption?

The Challenge

The temptation to check our smartphone, iPad or laptop for texts, tweets and messages is almost irresistible, as technology intrudes in our lives and in our work.

The growing normality of interruption is destroying old habits and rewiring our brain, as it becomes difficult to concentrate on any single issue for any length of time.

The practice of giving only a sliver of attention to any one task is, however, becoming less acceptable as people seek time to reflect and rediscover the merit of focusing our attention.

Businesses too are worried, as organisations restrict access to the internet to ensure employees retain uninterrupted time to work on critical tasks.

The incessant burden of checking messages to get the next ‘fix’ from our smart device of choice is having a harmful effect on our ability to concentrate and be productive.

The gush of information that assaults us on a daily basis is unremitting and forces us to react to the urgent rather than act on the important.

Technology may help us live better lives but it squanders attention, increases isolation and fragments our sense of closeness with others.

Endless repeated short interactions impair our ability to communicate and build friendships, not to mention reduce the opportunity for conversation or debate or even disagreement.

The growing trend sees many people communicate via their smartphone rather than in person, which can have a calamitous effect on ties with friends and family.

The solution, however, is simple.

The Solution

Focus. Focus on fewer things. Focus on what’s important. Focus on what makes a difference. Focus on what’s happening now. Focus on giving attention, full attention, to what we are doing at any given moment.

The discipline of focus allows us to avoid unnecessary distractions and reminds us to banish the everyday noise and clamour of the irritable and irrelevant.

Sustained concentration and focus allows us to perform well in whatever we do and is essential to immerse ourselves in what truly matters.

By focusing our attention we learn to concentrate on one thing at a time and capture the stillness and calm needed to excel.

The good news is that the more often we focus the easier it gets, even if our mind is used to spinning without purpose from one topic to another.

Focussing our attention on what matters has never been more important, as we struggle to make sense of a frightening and demanding digital world.

SO, technology will continue to interrupt, disrupt and destroy our span of attention but, thankfully, the solution is simple: focus.