Mindful Living

The F Word

Focus Vidya Sury

Focus.

(And what did you think?).

Yes, Focus. Not FOMO.

So hard to do and so necessary for getting things done. The ability to focus varies from individual to individual –  some of us are amazing, some of us not so much. We’ll all agree, however, that this is a skill that comes with practice.

With all the distractions I live with, I’ve found that being focused needs a lot of effort. It takes patience and most of all, it needs intention.

When the mind wanders, it is not always easy to bring it back to the present moment. Even when we succeed in harnessing it, it can quite happily return to those daydreams.  It takes tremendous patience to consistently practice staying in the moment. Also, we have to allow ourselves to focus.

When we do that, we create a space where we can concentrate on an experience and enjoy it thoroughly, completely.  When we don’t focus, we don’t really appreciate life fully. When we spread our attention too thin, we’re only aware of things up to a point, preventing us from knowing ourselves fully.

The funny thing is, when we do decide to focus, we become restless quite soon, seguing into impatience and then, boredom. We find it tough to sit still for extended periods as our mind refuses to be still and is always looking for a distraction.

In fact, it is this restlessness, impatience and tendency to feel bored quickly that come in the way of us focusing successfully. Being mindful can help us overcome these.

Just try the following exercise in a situation where you tend to find it tough to focus:

  • For five minutes, focus on your breath as you breathe as usual
  • Tell yourself that you can now focus on a single task for 10 minutes
  • Switch off your chats, sign out of your email and switch off your phone for these 10 minutes
  • Focus completely on what you decided to do.
  • If you see your mind getting restless and wanting to wander, gently bring it back to the task on hand.
  • Keep doing this until you finish the task.
  • If you find yourself becoming restless or bored, just focus on the task
  • Once this is done, move on to the next one.

Try this with everything you do throughout the day – reading, writing, driving, conversing with others, showering, listening to music, eating – just about everything you do.

How does it feel to channel your complete attention to what you are doing?

Were you more productive? Did you save time?

Did you feel a sense of accomplishment?

What you did was simple “mindful focus”

As you cultivate this habit, you will find it easier to focus.

You don’t have to be perfect.

All you need to do is embrace the moment because each moment is perfect in itself.

Focus Vidya SuryLet’s try another one!

You’re probably aware that the ideal time of day to practice mindfulness is when you eat! I am guilty of sometimes trying to finish a meal and reading at the same time. I’ll keep my email open and try to quickly catch up. Or at the very least, read a book.

But I don’t do that anymore. When it is mealtime – lunch, dinner – I go sit at the table, and no I don’t take my phone with me.

I focus on the food I eat – I admire the colors, I enjoy the flavors. I feel grateful with each bite. I savor the moments.

Being mindful trains our brain to focus because each time our mind wanders off, we consciously bring it back.

So make the F word your mantra.

Focus!

Here’s a task for you!

Make a list of five things you did with focus today.

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Darla M Sands
    April 9, 2016 at 1:47 am

    I am happy to say that I have no trouble switching off electronic devices. It can be tough tuning out my half deaf (literally) partner’s television at times. I’m grateful when weather is nice enough to sit outside if I want to focus on writing or something. Otherwise, headphones and music I so dearly adore help me get household chores accomplished. Be well, my dear!
    Darla M Sands recently posted…G is for GorillazMy Profile

  • Reply
    Vishal Bheeroo
    April 9, 2016 at 7:07 am

    That’s good tip to share to focus and avoid being restless. I am reading Deepak Chopra’s book on Ageless Body, Timeless Mind and he has a good way to explain it. Your words are soothing when you say to gently bring the wandering mind.
    Vishal Bheeroo recently posted…#AtoZChallenge: G for Ghost from the pastMy Profile

  • Reply
    Yolanda Renee
    April 9, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Love this, focus, so true. My husband thinks I cam make anything happen. I need to believe along with him and focus on creating the life I truly want!
    Stay strong Vidya, you’ll catch up over the weekend!
    Yolanda Renee recently posted…G – GRIZZLYMy Profile

  • Reply
    Arti
    April 9, 2016 at 11:45 am

    “When you chase two rabbits, both will escape.” Funny image. But true. Reading while eating is my guilty pleasure,too. Will try to focus on the food now. Two f words to deal with…let’s see how it goes. Thank you Vidya:)

  • Reply
    G Angela
    April 9, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Very rightly put vidya, eating at my workplace is easier – I get very mindful and eat slowly enjoying every thing that is in my tiffin box, the reason being its a quiet place and very calm. I get busy only when the students come for counselling otherwise, or by phone calls, otherwise I sit quietly and and work. Focussing on the breath has helped me a lot to stay focussed on what ever work I take up .. .. I have learnt to be kind to myself by gently bringing back whenever it wanders… thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    Kalpanaa
    April 9, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    What a wonderful post. It isn’t easy keeping up with the Challenge and creating quality posts is more important than anything else. Focus, what your blog post is about 🙂
    Five things I did with focus today
    1. Drink coffee
    2. Talk with my eldest daughter
    3.Brush my hair and enjoy it instead of feeling impatient
    4.Cuddle the cat
    5.Water my plants
    Kalpanaa recently posted…Hampi #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 9, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      Thank you for your kind comment, Kalpanaa. I love your list of 5! Imagine being able to do that with a majority of our activities! Hugs! I am heading to Hampi now on your blog!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Filled With GratitudeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Vasantha Vivek
    April 9, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Amazing post, Vidya !!! I was really wondering how you are doing A to Z challenge on four blogs st the same time. Now I got the answer. Your power lies with FOCUS. Inspiring qotes. Let me practice Mindful Focus and Mindful eating and get back to you with my feedback. Your blog radiates abundant positive energy and grateful that it gets transferred into me effortlessly. Stay blessed with happiness and health always !!!
    Vasantha Vivek recently posted…Nurturing Thursday : DirectionMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 9, 2016 at 9:49 pm

      🙂 You are very kind. I am not coping as well as I imagined, but I am not stressing over it. I am simply going by my priority list. Thank you so much for commenting. And I’d love to hear how mindfulness practice helped you!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…The F WordMy Profile

  • Reply
    Birgit
    April 10, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    This can be hard to do. My hubby can focus provided nothing is around that is distracting since he has severe ADHD. His sister, on the other hand, need to focus a lot more. She never seems to finish anything. Focus…I have on my housework, and on this blog today…so far:)
    Birgit recently posted…Letter HMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 11, 2016 at 10:16 am

      🙂 Birgit, I think you are among the most joyfully focused persons I know – you are so warm and supportive and you make me laugh! Hugs! Me – I discovered that this year I am letting the heat of summer get to me more than I should/used to!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Emotional MindfulnessMy Profile

  • Reply
    Dahlia
    April 11, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Today my focus is on catching up on my reading blog backlog – I doubt i will have time for any more focus tasks – unless it’s mindful eating 🙂 Thanks for a lovely post.
    Dahlia recently posted…I = Invitation CardsMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 11, 2016 at 10:13 am

      Mindful eating sounds good to me, Dahlia. Sometimes it is a great way to slow down, gather our thoughts and relax by focusing on the food. Hugs!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Gratitude Rocks @laurajtongMy Profile

  • Reply
    themoonstone
    April 13, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    True. Slow eating has it’s own joy and is known to avoid overeating. Ideally I believe, one should chew each mouthful 25 times.. though whenever I have tried it, my son tells me its rather like sitting next to a cow 😀
    themoonstone recently posted…Purposeless on PurposeMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 13, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      Hahahah. How cute! There’s only a particular stage when they listen to that, Asha. My son used to show us how he chewed 32 times (for 32 teeth). But he got over that quickly enough, especially when he started eating ice cream. But eating slowly without distraction, and smaller mouthfuls makes a definite difference. I feel it. Thank you so much for catching up on posts. I appreciate it very much!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Inner SmileMy Profile

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