"If you would just focus, you would be done already!”
How many times have you heard that line before? But what does focus mean? We are always focused on something, aren’t we?
Dr. Brown says that focus includes focusing, sustaining focus, and shifting focus to tasks.
To complete a task, we must focus on that task, hold our focus on that task and shift our focus to the myriad sub-tasks required.
Let’s take a look at a first grader completing his homework. Nathan has a really structured and organized teacher. She has clear expectations and sets her students up for success. Each day Nathan has a homework folder in his school bag. His job is to take out the folder, complete a math sheet with the pencil stored in the folder, read his reader, have a parent sign off on his completed homework, return everything to the folder, and return the folder to his school bag. The work itself takes him approximately 8 minutes to complete. The process is never quick!
Nathan’s mom is often frustrated with him and would like to understand why it is so hard for him to get his work done already! Let’s use Dr. Brown’s model to understand what needs to happen.
Nathan needs to get his homework done. He needs to focus on the task at hand and hold his focus there until the assignment is complete. In order to get to his math sheet, he needs to shift his focus to taking his worksheet and pencil out of the folder, and then immediately shift focus back to completing the assignment. He needs to focus on reading and processing the first problem, shift to computing, shift to recording the correct answer, and so on until the worksheet is finished. Nathan can’t focus on the smell of dinner cooking, the crunch of his sister’s pretzels, or the knock at the front door. His focus needs to be sustained on the assignment at hand.
That was just the beginning of his assignment…
As people, we are all focused on something at all times, but where is our focus. Is it where we want it to be or are we allowing ourselves to be pulled by the things we don’t want to be focusing on?
For this week, try to focus on where your focus is!
Have a great week!