Dec
25
2011

How to Improve Your Focus

What is focus and how exactly do you improve it? To say the least, focus is incredibly important in increasing productivity. Without focus, there is doubt that one can get anything done to the fullest standards. With that said, life is extremely busy and is full of numerous challenges and struggles. On top of that, life includes so many tasks and goals that need to be met, it is hard not to get stressed. However, by improving your focus, you can subsequently bend your stress and increase your productivity.

If you are like me, you enjoy doing many tasks. (All at once!) Well, the desire is right and the heart is correct, but the problem with this is that you can never do all of those tasks equally well. Now I know some of you readers might roll your eyes and say “but sure, I can do everything all well.” Well, maybe you can. But what tasks are we concerned about here? Are we talking about doing three things at once, or thirty? The problem is, without focus, there is no hope that you can succeed in what you are doing. There is no way that a task can be completed well without any focus. Don’t think it to be true? Well, believe it! Focus is the key to success.

Now I don’t mean focus like watching TV while studying for an exam or playing Plants vs. Zombies while studying. Sure, these can have their detriments but I truly mean focus in a much larger and broader sense. Think about taking classes for example. Will taking three science courses be different from taking just two? More so, will taking five courses at once in a quarter system be different from just taking three (I speak on experience, unfortunately)? The answer is of course a resounding yes. Taking many things can be from many different sources, including greed, anxiety and the desire to succeed under a heavy course load.

Even Clint Eastwood once said: “Man’s got to know his limitations.” Dirty Harry here is right. Without the knowledge of limitations, one can easily succumb to greed. Greed is an evil red-eyed monster that causes regrets, failure and sadness. Thus, focus here is important.

For whatever reason, I remember taking too many courses at once. Sure, it wasn’t too intense by many standards, but I found it to be extremely difficult.Thus, I had a real hard time bending my stress and removing the inner demons of anxiety as I worked hard to make success a reality. I often thought: did I take too much at the same time? In fact I did. Think of workload like a meal. If you eat too much at once, you will probably feel horrible and get sick. Also, if you eat too rapidly, you will also likely get sick. My friends, so relish the meal and let it all digest!

When I think about how to focus to succeed, I often think about the depth of field of a camera. A picture below will make this clear. A camera can focus on one thing at a time, whether it be something really far or something really close. This is not the fault of the camera or technology of course. It is the laws of nature and the physics behind optics. Your eyes work the same way. Look out the window and see something really close, like a leaf on a tree nearby. Then focus your eyes on the clouds. Whatever you are focused to is relatively clear, right? The rest blurry? The same with the focus that you have when you are working on various tasks. Just know, that when you are working on a task, another unrelated task suffers. Sure, this is inevitable. However, let’s say that you have many tasks. They all suffer. Then what can you really get good at? Nothing. A lens example is shown below:

 

The camera lens that was used to take this picture focused in on the rose, leaving the rest of nature blurry and unrecognizable.

Why is this even worth mentioning? Well, bending your stress means that you must find your inner equilibrium. Once you establish that, then you will never feel like the workload is too large and you will never feel stressed to a great extent. Also, by having focus on what you are doing, you will find that you will be able to do those tasks extremely well and very efficiently. Remember, a jack of all trades is a master of none. You can try to do everything at once, but will probably fail them all without a lack of focus. My mother always told me that you can lose 2 rabbits while trying to hunt them both. The message here? Focus on one and perhaps you can succeed in that one task!

*By the way, I don’t hunt. Not for any reasons of course, but I have no time nor desire. However, I admire the art of bushcraft.

Focus my friends. That is what my mentor told me a long time ago. I want to be the best I can be. And I will tell you, sometimes, this can be a very stressful lifestyle and mentality. But what can I do? Will I give up my desires just so I can be happy? Nope. I have to admit, I have chosen to take a life which I will constantly hunt for knowledge and gain facts and grow. This, is not a peaceful one at times. However, if I can not alter my circumstances, than I can sure alter the ways in which I bend my stress!

Focus is the key here. It is good to be hungry and to keep on wanting to innovate everything and anything. But just know, that no matter what you do, a focused mind will lead to successful results. Remember, you can always say no to anyone and not take on tasks if you feel that it is too hard or too strenuous. Remember, your equilibrium will always be shifted, but you must drive yourself to get back to it every time. This, my friends is what I think leads to a successful and stress-bent life.

 

 

 

 

About the Author: Kevin Kim

I have devoted my life to science and rational thinking. As a student in life's classroom, I am striving to learn something new every day. Graduate of UC Riverside, Class of 2012. Graduate Student at Keck Graduate Institute, part of the Claremont Colleges. Class of 2014 with a Masters in Bioscience. The track is pharmaceutical design and development with the ultimate goal of becoming a pharmacist who can also contribute scientifically through research. I hope that through my postings, people will no longer be crippled by stress and anxiety. Fight on! Fight Strong!

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