The art of focusing

March 12, 2017| Rosie Markwick
The art of focusing


There are times when long, down the rabbithole type internet searches hold fruitful gems. Recently I found one. I now can’t even remember   where I read this particular nugget of gold but its message and the idea behind it won’t seem to leave my mind.


In said piece the author was describing a women they knew who happens to be one of the busiest around. She is a juggling her work, running a business, a mother to babies and an all-round full and active life liver. I am sure we can all think of many just like her!


The author talks in admiration and inspiration for this women who, even despite her busyness exudes a sense of calm and a presence that is often not seen within a schedule so full. They go on to discuss with this women what she believes helps her and her response is that she has a practice of choosing to be fully focused to whatever task it is she is undertaking.


For example, her child wakes in the night needing feeding and she chooses to be completely absorbed in the task, she says it helps her with her sleepiness from being woken in the night. Likewise, she has an hour at an odd time to finish a piece of work and this practice allows her to fully relinquish anything else she has going on.


So simple and potentially it would seem so useful. I have been investigating and experimenting with this idea ever since.  


Firstly, Google was called upon and according to the World Wide Web 'focusing' means;

  1. To adapt to the prevailing level of light and become able to see clearly

  2. To pay particular attention to 

Interestingly 'focusing' is also a psychotherapeutic process involving holding attention to an internal sense of knowing which is beyond words and is instead felt within the body. Which sounds not too dissimilar to Mindfulness.


 We all know that limiting procrastination and staying on target is important for getting a job done quickly, however, there seems to be another place whereby the focus allows you to only get things done but to in fact be in a positive state of presences whilst undertaking the work. So really nothing more is being done it is just that we are fully experiencing and embodying the very specific task at hand. Full body and full mind awareness. Is this the key?


A study that has looked further on the effects of mindfulness on productivity backs up this idea. Candidates that were taught a simple practice of breaking down their tasks so that there were very clear moment to moment steps, found that they remained more on task as well as enjoying the experience to a greater extent than those who did not incorporate this skill.


So what do we think the best way to give this a try might be?


Next time you create your 'To Do' list get serious about it. Make sure to add extra clear step by step processes for each 'To Do'. Then, as you begin the tasks at hand are smaller and more manageable. Stay present in each small moment and over time you may realise the bigger picture is nearly there.


Lastly but by know means least, really do remember you always have this choice. We can always choose how we approach anything, even the things we might not really want to be doing or really have the time for.


So choose to approach all the things you have to do with with mindfulness, commitment and focus. It might just find you those extra few hours to get some well deserved me-time or more work done!


As always let us know how you got on!


The art of focusing