Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Power of Focus

My Dad just bought a Ford Focus, but that is not the kind of focus I am focusing on today!

Today I heard a talk on the subject of focus. The speaker pointed out that much of the chronic fatigue that we have in our lives is because our energy is so scattered. Multi tasking in considered an asset, however when taken to extremes it actually reduces our productivity.

For example when working on my Jeep, I find I can accomplish much more is a shorter period of time when I am alone in the shop. Just having someone stop by and speak to me is often enough of a distraction for me to injure myself. even if just a little cut or smashed finger, the pain reminds me that I have been distracted.

I don't even play music in my shop anymore while I work. The work becomes like a meditation. When I am truly focused on the work I am doing, I am purely in the present moment. If I find myself thinking about the past - of maybe how this problem came to be or to the future like how this problem will effect the performance of my Jeep, then I will either make a mistake or cause myself pain.

When I am truly focused on the task at hand, turning the one bolt, locating a gasket just right, finding a locating pin or tab, or just visualizing the flow of electricity through a circuit, I am most effective if I am focused on just that one thing.

Working on my Jeep has become great therapy for me. Learning to focus on the present moment and getting the instant feedback of seeing myself become more productive is a fantastic learning experience.

I find that when I am focusing on the present moment, I can get great clarity and trouble shoot problems that have eluded me for hours or even days as my attention has been divided.

I am often inspired to test things that might not even be on the checklist and suddenly uncover the source of a problem. At other times, I am reminded to just follow the trouble shooting chart ignoring the history for the problem and simply focus on what works and what does not to get the the root of a problem.

Staying focused is the key. Maybe I need to borrow Dad's car.

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