Reflections – Focus

February 17, 2011

In a world which places much importance on measuring and determining the value of an action from the results obtained, focusing on the outcome when tasked to do something is understandable.

Focusing exclusively on the end

Yet focusing exclusively on the end, might mean we miss the actual moment of doing the task. It can be argued provided we get the thing done it doesn’t matter. Perhaps that is right, although there will be times when how we do something is important too.

Multitasking or rudeness?

I can remember an occasion a bank teller dealt with my query as she focused on a report on her desk. When I asked if I should return at a more convenient time, I was met with a frosty reply that she was very capable of multitasking. I now bank online.

Lack of focus

The lack of focus or ‘shoddiness of craftsmanship’ as my grandfather would have said, shows up everywhere nowadays. Details get taken down in a haphazard way. The spelling of names and noting of account numbers are likewise hit or miss affairs over the phone.

Being focused

If we are honest we know when we are doing something with little or no focus. Although we might think otherwise, others also notice when we are ‘going through the motions’ as we ponder what’s for dinner or make mental plans for the weekend.

The Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh sums up being mindful of what we are doing with the concept of ‘Washing the dishes to wash the dishes’, being completely focused on the fact one is washing the dishes, rather than mentally rushing to the next thing to be done.

As ever, other perspectives are possible. I’d love to hear your opinions on the issue of focus, so please feel free to leave a comment below.

Thanks for connecting.


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