The Power of Focusing Your Attention

In a world of multi-tasking and hand-held devices, our moments of laser focus are in danger of extinction. Instead of dedicating our full attention to one thing at a time, we live in a society that promotes the opposite. The idea seems to be that the busier we are, the more productive we’ll be. However, the critical question is, how do we continue to approach our tasks at hand during the busier times?

I have encountered many professionals who are perpetually busy with various projects and aspects of their work, yet, seem to rarely ever make progress. I believe the culprit is multitasking, and the answer is focus management. Contrary to time management and multi-tasking, focus management is a thorough approach to getting things done. It’s about being in the moment and dedicating full attention to the task at hand until it’s complete.

Too often I have found that whenever we come across a large amount of things to do, we tend to fall into a state of desperation, causing us to hit the panic button and scramble our attention. This is when multitasking comes into play. Instead of trying to swallow the elephant within one bite, we need to relax, take a step back and dissect this large, overwhelming task into small individual steps. Once we accomplish this, it is our responsibility to then focus our entire attention on that step, without thinking about the next step until the current one is completed.

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Consistency is another vital attribute when it comes to focus management. I believe that focus + consistency = tremendous gains and results. If we manage to set up a focus management plan but lack consistency, we will not get very far in whichever endeavor we pursue. This is one of the reasons why I believe it’s important to break down our tasks into small, individual ones. This gives us the opportunity to accomplish more as well as gain momentum. Once we begin to gain momentum, we will then begin to generate the energy needed in order to achieve consistent results.

This new style of working may sound a little bit awkward for those who are accustomed to multitasking, but I guarantee it is more productive than divvying up your attention. It’s all about making consistent and focused increments towards accomplishing your goals.

This is a guest post by Luis Rosario, the Director of Communications / Event Relations for Personal Development Community, an online community that focuses on prosperity & abundance, lifestyle design, quality of life, and motivation. With an educational background in Sociology and Inter-cultural Communications, his mission is to change the world for the better one event at a time!

Don’t be a dung beetle

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

This quote by, well, pretty much everybody by now, sums up why we humans are social creatures.

We get food and water and shelter. These things are all necessary; every life form needs them, even dung beetles.

We give love.
We give attention.
We give our help.
We give a smile.
We give hope.
We give trust.
We give…

Well, we give a lot of things.  This is what separates us from much more primitive creatures. Yes, that is what makes a life. Don’t just be a dung beetle.

Wandering Mind, Unhappy State

Does your mind often wander off during the day? I know mine does.  I call it distraction, but I could also call it mind-wandering! That is why meditation is so hard for me. It seems like, no matter how hard I try not to have any, thoughts keep racing through my mind. Well, a study has shown that this characteristic of my personality might contribute to my unhappiness!

Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert, two psychologists from Harvard University came up with the brilliant idea of using an IPhone application as the principal research tool for a study on happiness that was published last November in the Science Journal.

This iPhone application, created by Killingsworth, randomly asked 2,250 volunteers from all over the world at different intervals of the day what their level of happiness was, what they were doing and what they were thinking about.

Killingsworth and Gilbert found that people were happiest when making love, exercising, or engaging in conversation. They were least happy when resting, working, or using a home computer.

The results also showed that people’s minds wandered a lot, regardless of what they were doing: people reported letting their minds wander 46.9% of the time, and at least 30% of the time during every activity except having sex.

The study showed that mind-wandering was actually a predictor of people’s happiness more than the actual activities people were engaged in.

The researchers estimated that only 4.6 percent of a person’s happiness in a given moment was attributable to the specific activity he or she was doing, whereas whether or not a person was wandering determined about 10.8 percent of his or her happiness.

Many philosophical and psychological schools of thought, believe that happiness starts by living in the present moment.  Now, a study has shown the validity of that statement.  So, maybe when your mind wanders off while you’re in the middle of cooking, it is worth bringing it back to the task at hand.  It could make you happier… and, perhaps,  also prevent you from burning yourself or messing up the recipe!

The author is Alina Boutros, who owns a University Master’s Degree in Literary Studies, has been researching happiness for the past year. You can read her daily posts on