Master the Enemy of Focus

Katie's East Coast 2008 054What makes it so difficult for us to remain focused with most of our resources firmly committed to our priorities?

Are we not disciplined enough? Are we doomed to always succumb to the distractions around us?

Or could there be other reasons we lose focus?

Consider the following:

Packed Calendar

In any given month there are many worthy events,  gatherings and entertainment options to consider.  Not wanting to miss out on anything, we pack our schedules.  But what we do not realize is that overcommitment itself causes us to miss out.

By jamming in every possible event, we turn what could have been something enjoyable into something frantic, denying ourselves and our loved ones the joy that comes from not only anticipating a special event, but the contemplative time that is necessary after the fact to savor the sweetness of the experience. When one event rushes into another, it tends to become indistinguishable. We become harried, numb and oblivious to that which could have been shared, experienced or accomplished had we left some white space on our calendar.

Packed Space

We want to be prepared.  We stock up. We lug overloaded bags and stuff our spaces with items to have on hand “just in case”.  But what is lost by this approach?

We must come to grips with the fact that we make a choice when spend time and money on these items.  When resources are applied to items that are neither necessary or cherished, and could be easily acquired if needed, we are diverting resources from our priorities.

The  Underlying Cause

What causes us to over-pack our schedules and our spaces and thus lose focus?


Do we fear that if we reduce our commitments, we will miss out on professional and/or social opportunities?  Are we afraid that if we focus our resources on too few objectives,  that we will be “failures” if the objective fails?  Are we afraid that if we let go of something, and later learn it is needed, that we will not be able to replace the item?

The Solution

To remain focused on priorities, we must practice courage and humility.

Courage – when we put our proverbial eggs in only a few baskets and risk loss.  Humility – when we acknowledge we cannot do or have it all.

Please join us in committing to seek the courage and humility to  1) focus on a few precious priorities in our lives; and 2) dedicate our time, talents and treasures to such priorities.


For further resources on this topic please see our previous posts  “How to … Achieve Your Goal” and “4 Zones of Influence” and Leo Babauta’s post  “buckshot vs. rifle approaches”  at



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2 thoughts on “Master the Enemy of Focus

  1. This is a difficult idea to think about. No one wants to fail. But reducing opportunities can lead to failure. It does take courage to focus just on priorities.