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The Power of Focus

I've been learning a lot about the power of focus as we're trying to get things done.

We live in a world of multi-tasking, and I'm guilty, guilty, guilty!

At the gym, I jump on the exercise bike, plug in my headset to the television monitor, scroll through until the Travel Channel shows up, start pedaling, then dial in the workout I want, sit back and open a magazine, well, I sit back after I check my BlackBerry to make sure I haven't missed a text, call, or email in the walk from the locker room. (If I have, I respond!)

When I get home, I power up the computer even as I open the refrigerator to look for something to cook for dinner.

I was grateful when cell phones became readily available, that way I was able to extend my work day another half hour while I drove home.

One drawback I've found...I'm not always as engaged as I could be in what I'm doing.

Yesterday, I shut off the phone and concentrated on a project for an hour. And something amazing happened...I finished the project. I had allotted four hours to the job, but I accomplished it in 60 focused minutes. Without distractions, I was able to finish a job in a quarter of the time it usually takes.

I will probably not stop multi-tasking anytime soon. But I've learned a powerful lesson about the power of single-minded focus.

So that leads me to my question for you...what could you accomplish in a focused, laser-like hour? (I bet you may even astound yourself!)

Hugs, Sierra (who only answered one text message while writing this!)


Jenna Byrnes said...

I get much more accomplished when I don't stop to check email every few minutes, LOL

When I used to write on a computer without internet access, I'm sure I got a lot more written!

Great post, Sierra!

Sierra said...

Jenna! You said a mouthful! And if I didn't refresh Twitter every nine seconds, I'd get more done, too! ;)

You make sense with the comment about writing without Internet access, but the idea of taking out my Internet card.

Lisabet Sarai said...


Actually, I'm not a multi-tasker. Guess it has something to do with the generation I grew up in. (I'll give you a hint - my dearest possession when I was seven was a "transistor radio". With 9 transistors...!)

When I write, though, I have to have the time to focus in. Less than a couple of hours and I won't get much done, because I have to warm up.

Excellent post, and I like the image, too.


Sierra said...

Lisabet, I think you're clearly smarter than I am! Taking that time to focus and be fully present is something I strive for. I need to take a page from your book!

Thanks for the response!