Why Can’t You Focus?

Can you “focus” in order to see a boat towing two others?

Why can’t you focus? I think you can! Usually, it’s you don’t instead of you can’t. I know many people who do their best work at the last minute. Why? Generally, they know they are nearing a deadline and based on the need to finish now, they really focus on their tasks. Of course, there might be other reasons for last minute “work like crazy to get the job done” performances, but I think, most of the time, the problem is a focus problem.

Sunset – if only I could focus!

But, how does one solve a focus problem? On the surface that may seem like a easy and trivial question. It is and it isn’t. It isn’t, in the sense that focusing requires our minds to rule out all unrelated thoughts, while allowing us to concentrate on the thought at hand. Wow! that’s sounds tough! It is and it isn’t. Wait a minute, I’ve “heard” this before.:-)

Ok, it’s tough to rule out all unrelated thoughts, but not impossible. In fact, I think we often have to do this in order to successfully live in today’s world. In the past, as a student, I encountered many different teachers who continuously asked me to pay attention or focus. As a teacher, I encouraged my students to pay attention and often times, I specifically asked them to focus. Sometimes, I would ask the class to focus by saying, Hocus Pocus – It’s Time To Focus. I did a post last May in which that “saying” was the title and I provided more insight regarding it’s value. (To visit the post, please click on the title.) The point is, that it is NOT impossible to exclude all unrelated thoughts regarding a “task-at-hand” and focus on what is needed in order to complete the task. But, how do we exclude all unrelated thoughts?

Sunset – Yes, I CAN focus! :-)

As mentioned in the first paragraph, many people do their best work when faced with a deadline. Why? It’s because that’s when the person knows s/he has to focus in order for the task to be completed. I think it is not the deadline that helps boost productivity, but the incredible power of focusing one’s attention on what needs to be done. Why can’t we perform this well all of the time?

I believe we all have the ability to perform at our best. One of the main reasons we don’t perform at our best is our lack of controlling and focusing our attention on what needs to be done.

Focusing means we need to control what we are thinking and what we are believing. For example, if I had to have a post ready for a blog by tomorrow, then I have to think I can do it and believe in my ability to do it.

Also, in order to focus, we often need to change our attitude about the task. For example, suppose I have the mental feeling (attitude) about the task of writing for this blog as one of dislike. Once I recognized how I felt, I would realize my focus problem was only my attitude at that time. You see, I consciously enjoy writing for this blog. It’s only sometimes, subconsciously, that I feel I dislike it. In the past, as a young student, I did not like writing and often tried to avoid it. In order to be the best person and teacher that I could be, I had to change my attitude regarding writing. Change, I did, and now I love the act of writing!  I suppose any subconscious feelings of disliking the act of writing for this blog would only be “leftovers” from a time past. :-)

Duck is my focus!

The ability to be able to focus is one that we have complete control over. It is a skill that we can teach ourselves. There are many resources on the web that can be helpful. Here are links to two such sites: Focusing on Concentration & Mental Clarity/Focusing Skills. I think if you learn how to skillfully focus on the task at hand, then your life will change for the better.  It helps eliminate so many of the negative traits in life, such as procrastination, confusion, forgetfulness, …

So, why can’t you focus? Maybe, because you are focusing on can’t instead of can! :-)

Please focus on a comment.

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