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On Being Focused - Staying On Task
On Being Focused
You may recall sports coaches constantly saying “Keep your eye on the ball!”. Zero in on that ball coming your way. Block out everything around you and everything in your mind. Catch that ball.
"Keep your eye on the ball!" is a metaphor for many things. Knowing how to focus is a skill and I believe it can be learned.
When I was a classroom teacher, I would have my students stand on one foot with the opposite hand stretched to the ceiling and eyes concentrating on a point where the walls and ceiling meet. Obviously, not everyone could focus very long but daily practice helped build that skill. Taking one or two minutes out of the learning hour was well worth it.
So many people were nurtured by Sesame Street. I loved it. It was so educational, but in that venue, our minds were trained in 15-second tidbits and that became our tolerance for focus.
Suggestions for how to teach the skill of focusing:
Identify specific goals: Name the task or project that requires focus and concentration. This will make the task more manageable.
Minimize distractions: Create a quiet and distraction-free environment to work in or use noise-cancelling headphones or app blockers to eliminate interruptions.
Practice mindfulness: Use mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, meditation or yoga to help focus attention and calm the mind.
Break tasks into smaller parts: Dissect larger tasks into smaller more manageable parts, and work on one thing at a time rather than multitasking.