Sunday, June 12, 2011

16316--The Power of Focus

The key to finding time to write amidst the storm of all of life's utterly distracting chaos is making yourself focus and taking time to write.  Don't delude yourself into thinking that "everything has to be just right".  Start working.  Once you turn your focus to the writing, the flow will follow.  I know, a lot of people place value in multitasking.  Don't fall into that trap.

Multitasking is a myth from the marketing department.  The human brain isn't designed to do multiple things at once at optimal efficiency.  We all know it, but don't like to admit it.  If we want our computers to simulate multitasking, performing more simultaneous functions without loss of speed, we build in additional processors.  The brain's neural network has tremendous performance capacity available and does a lot of things without owner awareness, but it still works best for us when we focus on a single task.  Many people make "To Do" lists, but how many do all the tasks simultaneously?  If you've noticed, you probably turn down the car stereo volume when you're driving along looking for an address.  Whether you've thought about it or not, you're acknowledging that split focus, even among looking and listening, yields poorer results.

We still fight it, probably due to impatience on either our own part or from someone else.  Some people try to text while driving.  Others may have an employer who insists that nine tasks have to be done before lunch and there's only one worker for the job.  Still, the advice to "Do one thing at a time" continues to be offered.  In our PC times, we still use the term "savant" but have tried to forget that it used to be tethered to "idiot" like a conjoined twin.  The people these words have been used to describe live with brains focused on specific areas of life to the near-exclusion of every other.  They can memorize and recite strings of numbers or count with lightning speed or draw accurately detailed cityscapes from memory, but while they're impressing the audience it is forgotten that they may have the social skills of a five-year-old or require a caretaker to help them perform basic tasks.  Those brains are overly focused.

"Savant" individuals still seem to be treated as performing curiosities who may help us to learn more about the intricacies of the brain.  Meanwhile, were I given a choice, as much as I might enjoy upgrading the recall capacity and processing speed of the biocomputer on top of my neck, I wouldn't consider the trade worth the sacrifice of my imagination or personality.

Focus is the dfference between your notebooks and your finished novel.

Without focus, Bruce Wayne would be an orphan with emotional issues instead of a billionaire who dresses up like a bat and stalks the shadows looking for trouble.  OK, maybe that one's a fine line, but you understand.  When you're focused, you break the board.  When you're not, you break your hand.

Focus is the vehicle that will carry you to wherever it is that your ambitions drive.

So, eye on the prize, shoulder to the wheel and nose to the grindstone.  I know it's a funny position to work in, but I've heard good things.  Maybe it had something to do with yoga...

As always, thanks for stopping by.

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