One Thing

It’s a new year, so we all do what we usually do, reflect on the past, audit your present, set goals for the future. And then, 12 months later, we do it all over again. It’s pretty much the same pattern in schooling, and at work. Does it really make any sense?

Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” In time, some not-so-informed wannabe motivator decided to turn that quote into the oft-used but totally misguided definition for insanity – doing the same thing and expecting different results. And attribute that definition to Einstein himself!

Anyways, I digress – the point I am trying to make in this post is – Focus is very important for anyone, from the very, very young, to the very, very old. We lament these days as parents, educators and learners that the ‘current’ generation (X, Y, Z, Millennials, Alpha etc) all lack this elusive and rare trait to focus. Is that true?

Digging further, we start to realize that there could be 3 main reasons why we struggle to focus

  • We are easily distracted – i.e. we don’t know (or want to choose) what’s important and what’s not
  • There are too many things crying for our attention – from the really mundane to the really useful and urgent
  • We worry too much

For me personally, focusing is more a choice than a character trait or habit. The ability to focus (especially as you get older) banks on my self-discipline and self-control. Of course, there are tools and techniques (see below) that can help, but generally, it all comes down to discipline.

If we can get learners to focus, I think the battle is half won. So, how can we do this effectively?

1. One Thing – Focus

Have you ever heard of The Pomodoro Technique? Maybe that can help. And thankfully, there’s an app for that too!

2. Prioritizing

We should really spend more of our time and attention on what make us tick. There are now so many convergences happening – one of my fave – science and emotions – there are so many videos here to get started. Along the way, you will learn how to better equip yourself against science used against you and your willpower.  And of course, there are wonderful apps like One Hour A Day, Rescue Time, GPS for the Soul and Stop Breath Think to help you stay sane in an insane world.

3. Getting Things Done

One of the biggest setbacks to a productive schedule is worry. Anxiety, fear and worry can disable anyone, kill enthusiasm and trigger paralysis. Once you understand the science and look at techniques or systems such as GTD to overcome (or sidestep, more like) worry and anxiety, you’ll become more productive. Apps like Life Balance, 2Do and Things are just a few tools you can use to help you get started.

I believe once we get the discipline to focus and become clearer about who we really are, what drives us and why we do what we do, we can have more enriched and fulfilling lives.

Here’s to an extraordinary year (and life!)





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