The lecturer had just finished saying there were 12 cranial nerves in the brain numbered in Roman Numeral I-XII. He then turned to the girl sitting by the side of the window, her eyes were wide open like she had been listening carefully to the lecture. What is the 13th cranial nerve? He asked. I could literally feel her confusion as the eyes of 71 persons in the class turned to where she sat. Shakily, she stood up and mumbled, ‘Spinal Cord’. You can imagine the noise that echoed from the class as we all laughed hysterically.
The lecturer had been watching her closely and had noticed how distracted she was. He noticed how she would look into her phone and smile occasionally. After questioning her, it was discovered that she was in the middle of a very “interesting” chat with her bestie who just got a new iPhone on her 19th birthday. Her bestie used to be course mates with her but changed course from Veterinary Medicine to Microbiology just at the beginning of their second year. I am guessing if she had not changed department, they would be having the chat physically in class.
Meanwhile, James Okechukwu – the best graduating student from the class of 18’ had once told us about Dr. Armstrong. He is reputed for asking cheeky questions that could catch a person off guard if you are not attentive, he said. Okechukwu even told a story on how Dr. Armstrong asked Caleb (his classmate) how many atoms of carbon there were in Oxygen, and Caleb answered 16. The question was a very cheeky one. Firstly, there is no atom of carbon in oxygen. Secondly, there was no relationship between atoms and Myology which was the topic they were discussing in class. But Caleb was prey to Dr. Armstrong on that occasion. So, how did my female colleague not learn from this Caleb experience? Well, if she was attentive in class, her story won’t have been my introduction.
“When every physical and mental resource is focused, one’s power to solve a problem multiplies tremendously.” Anonymous. One of the benefits of focus is that it helps you generate the needed momentum in completing a task. Our energy is often channeled to the number of things our mind is focusing on. It is safe to say that if we’re focusing on one thing, all our energy is being channeled towards that thing. So how about focusing on ten things at a time? Well, I guess I don’t need to answer the question, your mind splits its energy into all ten things, leaving you with little or no energy to complete any of the tasks.
Focusing on one task gives you time to finish up that task. Allowing your mind to pay attention to every thought or distraction that comes into it robs you of the time needed to finish a particular task. Once your mind is distracted, it often affects your creativity and quality of delivery. Focusing on one task saves you from mental stress and exhaustion.
One of the best ways to achieve maximum focus is by eliminating every potential source of distraction. This could be anything; your mobile phone, the television, your friend, another “seemingly” interesting task, you can add yours to the list. The absence of these sources of distraction will give us no other option but to concentrate on the current task at hand. Sometimes, distraction may come in form of a random thought, and these thoughts may appear to be very interesting. The best way to eliminate such thoughts is by not letting your mind focus on them for any longer than 20 seconds. This way, our mind will quickly eliminate the thought and not try to process it.
Got more ideas on how to eliminate distraction and increase focus? The comment box was made for you.