Focus Pocus!

          Have you lost focus lately? Are you unable to complete the smallest task without starting two other projects? Perhaps you’re beginning to relate to that proverbial chicken running around with its’ head cut off? This could be a sign it’s time to refocus, or take pharmaceuticals (just kidding). Actually, drugs will likely impede the focusing process, so maybe just focus on refocusing.

Coffee and notebook - Copy

            How to refocus when you’re running so fast your vision is blurred, one must come to a screeching halt and take a few deep, calming breaths (this actually works). To refocus is to prioritize what needs to be done in your day, and hit the delete button on what can fall by the wayside (so satisfying!). Writing a short list of what needs to be accomplished today, this week, and this month is a great visual tool for refocusing. Do you really need to do six small loads of laundry or can you wait to run three bigger loads? Do you have to make all your follow-up phone calls and emails today, or can some of the less urgent ones wait until next week? Do you really need to squeeze in a lunch date with that friend who always shows up 30 minutes late, or is your precious time better spent hanging out with your precious child? Asking yourself a few key questions before mindlessly diving into the next item on your never-ending ‘to do’ list could free up time and energy to actually breathe.


            Additionally, giving your eyes a rest from computer screens to stare off into space is a recommended literal refocus. Stare at the perfection of a bouquet of flowers or the birds flitting around trees outside. Your eyes and mind will reward the break with visual clarity and a clearer head.


            Taking your focus off a feeling of overwhelm may be a bit trickier, although not as difficult as you might think. Spending five minutes outside and breathing fresh air or slowly drinking a large glass of water, absorbing all the goodness into your cells, gives your mind the mini-break it needs to create space so an easy solution to a problem you’re facing may present itself. I’m amazed how taking my dog for a quick walk around the block can recharge my batteries enough to conquer tasks I’ve been avoiding, not to mention the satisfaction I feel watching her little tail wagging with joy as she blissfully sniffs one spot after another, completely focused on her walk (hmm – is there a lesson there?).

            Sometimes a quick text or chat to blow off steam with a trusted friend or coworker is all you need to relax enough to see what is important. Everything is temporary, including that gargantuan list of home renovations. Soon, your to do list is doable, with some clever pruning. The best perspective to master is enjoying the process of living and doing and not getting caught up in the belief that ‘there’ is better than ‘here’. Any Buddhist will agree that now is all there is – embrace the power of focusing on where you are right now and notice the magical feeling of calm in being present. Focus Pocus!


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