How’s your focus?

What’s that? Were you talking to me?

I have a new digital camera. It zooms out so I can capture a great photo just by pushing a button. However, I have to learn to wait until the camera adjusts its focus before pushing that button. These days, those are two very difficult things to command – patience and focus.

It’s easy to understand how your attention can wander with so much going on in the world today. When you are running a business, it’s even more challenging to stay on track.

Distractions are everywhere. You may feel like your attention must be everywhere at once also. As a business person, though, you have to train your mind to focus on what is truly important.

An article in Entrepreneur lists three tips for training your brain to stay focus. Yes, there are only three tips. Because, well, short attention span ….

Do the creative work first. Most people do the mundane, simple things on the “to do” list first just to get them out of the way. At that point, though, you’ve likely drained your energy and your attention span. Use whatever focus you do have to take care of the more challenging – and more rewarding – activities first.

Allocate your time deliberately. One expert believes people are truly focused for an average of only six hours per week. Use that time wisely.

Train your brain like a muscle. Eliminate distractions and actively concentrate on the task or conversation at hand. Granted, this can be the most difficult step in the process. Try it for just five minutes the first time and then build up. Stop trying to multitask. It really doesn’t work.

My fourth tip: Focus on the words you use, whether in a conversation or in writing. It’s easy to randomly say things that can come across as meaningless or worse. It’s more difficult, but more rewarding, to know that you’ve truly conveyed a message that makes a difference.

Words have power. Choose yours wisely.


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