A Word on Wednesday: Focus

Focus: to limit distraction. Let everything not import blur in the background.


As a verb, focus is to direct one’s attention or efforts. The verb originated in 1775 in optics, to bring into focus. It became a figurative in 1807. It began as a use in photography in 1864.

One of my tricks to mentally focus is to set a timer. I use my phone. Most often, I set it for forty-five minutes. I find I have trouble focusing for longer than that. I generally, do three or four sessions of focus in a work period. After the timer goes off, I get up, walk around, use the bathroom, check social media, get a glass of water, or a snack. I allow myself these breaks so I can reach peak concentration in the disciplined time periods.

It is amazing how much work, one can get done in less than an hour of dedicated attention.

My focus timer also serves as a race clock. Remember how we are all given the same twenty-four hours in a day. Why is it that some people seem to get so much more done? I believe it comes down to focus. Some days my planner is so chocked full of must dos, that my should dos and want to dos have to be squeezed in. With my focus timer, I can race the clock to achieve what I set out to do.

I am susceptible to the distraction of social media and instant messaging. I am always looking for tips to improve my focus. Please share in the comments.

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