The art of focus

The art of focus. We’re taught this in school, starting from kindergarten and ending in severe university essays with intimidating word counts.

At our work, we don’t have a choice: we work hard and that itself is focus in action.We read – before bed – and there’s our focus for twenty minutes, one hour or fifty pages if you’re lucky. We sit and draw, we doodle whilst on the phone – focus again. Sometimes we run, and during this often painful process we concentrate on our breathing – focus again.I grew up with Focus: learning it, aiming for it and knowing that it is the key to achievement. Knowing that it could sometimes turn into discipline, knowing it goes against our distracted human grain and is actually a hard thing to do.Yet, our focus is constantly under attack by the world around us but let’s just focus on the technological world at the moment.

The Internet is a wonderful place and we are living in an unprecedented time of virtual growth.
Yet consider your online habits. I have considered mine, in the cold light of reality, and have realised that – whilst I adore the Internet – it can be like a vacuum cleaner and SUCK AWAY our productivity but most of all our focus.

Consider how you might go online with the specific purpose of doing a couple of things and find yourself still logged on, an hour and a half later – now shiny and bleary eyed and completely distracted from your original task.

This, my friends (and I include myself in this audience too) is a sobering reality. When we examine our Internet habits with the perspective of objectivity, personal growth and goal accomplishment sometimes we find we have been tricked. Lured by online productivity, by fanciful ideas, by intriguing news stories and Facebook photos that an amicable but detached acquaintance has posted.

Be aware that this global but useful monster which helps us “keep in touch” can actually rob us of the thing we’ve worked so hard for our whole lives: focus. Concentration.
And sometimes we need less of “keeping in touch” and more antisocial, introverted “work time.”

The Internet is like money. It makes a terrible god but a good servant. Use it to serve you, not vice versa.

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