The Powerful Effects of Focus

by Frank


“I just have a few things on my list to get done today and then we can go out.”

Shifting priorities and projects on a daily basis was something I began to be known for and not in a good way. Between cutting the lawn, fixing the wall in the attic, cleaning the carpet, changing the tires on the car, and writing, I could say my schedule was pretty full. These were all things that could have been done in the period of one day. Instead of focusing on one task at a time, I chose to multi-task for the sake of getting more things done. Two weeks later I have crossed two things off of the list. Why? I never had focus.

See Also: Improve Your Focus and Get More Done

I never really understood the benefits of focusing on one thing at a time. I have a personality where I constantly jump from one thing to the next as visual stimuli often captures my attention influencing my thoughts to wander from one place to the next. I am like a resting dog who see a squirrel out the window only to be distracted when the mail man drops the recent set of bills in the door slot who then chases his tail because it happened to be in my view. It wasn’t until I realized how much time I wasted “chasing my tail” did my lack of focus become a bull’s-eye target in my pursuit of personal growth.

In my intentional drive to improve my focus I have learned about the following powerful effects it plays in our lives:

1. Focus is a Time Saver

“The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he or she is going.” David Star Jordan

It is much easier to obtain a single goal instead of 20 goals. As a young kid I loved going to carnivals. I loved the food, the rides, but most importantly I loved the games. I liked to win prizes. One of the games I often played was the shooting game with moving targets. Each target gave you a certain amount of points and your combined score over a specified amount would award you a prize.

The first few times I played, I would hit the small targets going from one to the other quickly. I would be all over the place. Using this method I always got the small prize. Frustrated and running out of money, I asked the commissioned salesman, (they had to be on some type of sales quota the way he was pushing this game) how do I get the big prize. This is when I was given the best life advice I never listened to until I was an adult years later.

“You are aiming to small. To get the big prize, you have to shoot for something bigger. Focus only on the big targets.”

The next round instead of shooting 25 shots at random targets, I shot 3 times at one target and got the biggest bear at the stand. In fact, it took me less time to do it and it was more rewarding.

2. Focus is Invigorating

“Attempting everything, like attempting nothing, will suck the life out of you.” John Maxwell.

Clarity and focus have allowed me to benefit from increased energy and joy from getting things done at the best of my ability. When I was torn between several different projects, I often found myself frustrated and overwhelmed. Acting in that capacity, I felt like I was in a canoe paddling on one side going in circles. Now when I start a task and work at it until it is completed, I can see, feel, and experience the momentum. There is no feeling like taking on a challenge and seeing it through to the end. That feeling can be multiplied especially when the task is difficult.

Don’t continue to let shifting priorities drain you.

3. Focus Improves Concentration

“What you focus on expands.” Mike Kendrick

By adding the practice of maintaining my focus on one task at a time, I have personally experienced an increase in concentration in areas outside of my focus as well. I listen more intently when my wife or children speak. I read more thoroughly for comprehension and often search for ways to practically apply what I read to my life. I recognize opportunities to learn from others when watching them speak or interact. With improved concentration and focus my productivity and efficiency is increasing day by day allowing me to get more and more done.

See Also: Don’t Waste Your Time

If you were anything like me, stuck shifting between priorities, I want you to know that a simple change in behaviors can make a dramatic difference in your life. If you want to be more effective at your job, more loving to your family, more committed to your finances, it is all possible by improving your focus. Do one thing at a time, stay consistent, and don’t give up! Save time, have more energy, and improve your concentration by learning how to focus.

Today I challenge you to do one thing at a time. I know it will add some great benefits to your life.