We do most of our tasks while we are on auto-pilot, but we miss a lot of things, and we wish we have more time. So why is that?
In his recent book “Focus“, Daniel Goleman explains how Focus is a key factor in distinguishing leaders from the rest in every industry.
At first, I found it hard to comprehend this considering that I am a technical person, so I thought these tech. skills got to have more weight in being a leader, but I am getting convinced.
Over the weekend, I went to watch the Australian Open with few of my friends. We planned on watching three matches in round 3. I found it interesting that they match one of the top players with another that is not as highly ranked.
The first game was Jelena Jankovic, who is the world #8 against Kurumi Nara, who is ranked as the world’s #74. In the beginning, the game was quite even. Both players went head to head. Some people -me included- thought Nara might win. To my surprise, as the game went on, Nara started to loose focus. She might have been tired too, but you could see from the way she serves and deals with the racket, that she is getting mentally distracted.
Same scenario went on for the third match, which was Andy Murray (world’s #5) against Feliciano Lopez (#26). The first set was very challenging to Andy. They went to a Tiebreak, and they were both very close.
Lopez was finishing a game in less than 2 min, and Andy was struggling to keep up with his serves. Similar to Nara, by the middle of the second Set, Lopez started to loose focus.
The last point in the third Set, Lopez was over it and he did not even bother returning the ball.
I was quite astonished by how precise Daniel Goleman was, and the problem is we are having more and more distractions. Some of these distractions are internal such as emotions, thoughts, etc. Others are external coming from different sort of clutter in our lives.
In a recent study published on WSJ, it was found that on average it takes us about 15 min to regain focus and bring concentration to the same level as before the disruption.
The same study found that a mere interval of 2.5 Sec is enough to trigger a distraction.
So to conclude, if you are -like me- struggling with the shortage of focus and trying to achieve something, Daniel G. suggests the following:
1. Be pro-active in controlling your surroundings and settings. Do not let distractions control you.
2. Mindful Second thought: watch what you spend your time on.
3. Exercise some meditation sessions daily to build up your mind muscle.
4. Ensure that you have enough sleep.
5. Enjoy a healthy diet with a high protein and low Carbs.
This way you fuel your brain with a steady energy level to sustain focus.
6. Slow and little consumption of caffeine could help.
On average a cup of coffee have 150 mg of caffeine or more, while a cup of green tea could give you a 25 mg of caffeine. Consume wisely by alternating your drinks. This not only reduces your caffeine intake but it also breaks the habit of consuming too much coffee.
Hope you find this useful and would love to hear your comments.