Focus

Mar 15, 2019 | Personal Development

Something interesting happens when you shine a beam of light on a wall. The further away you are, the bigger and dimmer the light appears. The closer you are, the smaller and brighter that same light seems. Similarly, when further away, the light will shine on many things. But the closer you are, the more the light is forced to narrow its focus point. This demonstration could be interpreted as a strictly scientific observation, but look a little deeper and it becomes a metaphoric life lesson. Think of the light as a representation of your focus level and the wall as your daily tasks, life goals or passions. You can either stand at a distance and shine a dim light on multiple ambitions or lean in and devote laser-like attention to one thing at a time. Which is more effective? The broad flashlight focus or the intense laser focus? Let’s explore.

Flashlight focus can be described as tending to multiple projects without prioritizing or devoting full attention to one particular task. Most people have heard time and time again that multitasking is an asset to productivity. We’ve been conditioned to believe that mastering this skill is the key to accomplishing more in less time. However, that line of thinking is a common modern myth. Even though multitasking may seem to be a reliable time-saver, in the long run it’s not. Realistically, multitasking prevents our brains from truly focusing on either task, thus reducing our ability to produce the highest quality result. (Read more about this here.) While flashlight focus sheds light on more simultaneously, it also requires that you remain at a distance, prohibiting you from establishing true depth and connection with any of your goals.

Conversely, laser focus is defined as the act of dedicating concentrated attention to the completion or mastery of a singular responsibility. Laser focus is flashlight focus refined; it occurs when you close the gap between you and your task. When you think of a laser beam, you probably picture a small, intense light that is used to direct attention to only one object. Similarly, laser focus isolates what’s most important and prioritizes one task at a time. Because this type of attention is so concentrated, it blocks out distractions and forces you to tend to the important while dismissing the urgent matters that randomly pop up. On the surface this approach to productivity may seem to slow down the overall process because it prohibits multitasking. However, when you want to get a lot done, it’s not about adding things, but subtracting.

Like flashlights and laser beams, people also have the ability to shine. The positivity, energy and love that you emit is your light to share with the world. But remember, like time and energy, light is limited; you only have so much to give. If you allow your light to touch too many things and spread too thinly, its true power may go unseen. It’s up to you to decide whether you shine dimly at a distance like a flashlight or strong and near like a laser. If you want to go big in your results, sometimes you have to go small first. Refining your focus is the first step toward radiating a brighter light. Remember to believe in yourself and your ability go get laser focused. Simply identify your distractions, make a decision to get them out of the way, make the task in front of you a priority and give it your laser focus. You can do it!  

21 Comments

  1. Ann Parker

    Excellent information!

    Reply
  2. Dan

    Great debunking of multi-tasking!

    Reply
  3. Kurt L.

    This is really good and informative. Thank you for taking the time to share this fantastic nugget.

    Reply
  4. Travis V.

    Thank you for sharing this very timely nugget! With all the distractions in life, it’s easy to get side tracked. A simple adjustment of the lens can bring things back into focus. A great call to action!

    Reply
  5. Alaine Jackson

    This is such an incredible blog! We always hear of laser focus, but I’ve never thought to compare it side by side to flashlight focus. Excellent analogy!

    Reply
  6. Annie Reed

    What phenomenal thoughts and Love the part “If you want to go big in your results, sometimes you have to go small first.” Thank you David and Jaimee for shining your light on us each day! You are life changers.

    Reply
  7. Gillian

    A great lesson to implement! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  8. Dusty Heller

    What a great insight! I find us getting a lit more done when we adjust our focus to fewer things. Thank you David and Jaimee! You guys are so wise!!

    Reply
  9. Christina Dawkins

    LOVE THE INFORMATION!!! ???? We definitely must learn when to be laser-focus and when to be the flashlight beam. There is a time and a place for everything! I WILL BE APPLYING THIS TODAY!!! ??

    Reply
    • Marlena Landry

      Awesome analogy explained so clearly! Thank you for the insight David and Jamiee Felber!! ???Excellent information that I will be starting immediately!! Blocking out distractions…is what it’s all about!!

      Reply
  10. Susan Ko

    Be laser focused instead of being the beam of light. Awesome information. Thanks much.

    Reply
  11. Cammie Kajioka

    Thank you David and Jaime for the awesome insight on prioritization and concentration!

    Reply
  12. Cammie Kajioka

    Thank you David and Jaime for the awesome insight on prioritization and concentration! This was a fantastic article!

    Reply
  13. Kyla

    Makes so much sense to be laser focused versus spread thin, thank you for this!

    Reply
  14. Elizabeth

    Great insight!

    Reply
  15. Isaac F.

    Great insight and wisdom. Thanks for investing into us by sharing your perspective.

    Reply
  16. Greg Rellaford

    Thank you David and Jaimee! This is just what I needed today!

    Reply
  17. Mark C

    Great analogy/message and reminder of the importance of staying focused and not allowing the clutter and many distractions of life impede your success!

    Reply
  18. Jenny Vesely

    These points hit me most:
    **Laser focus isolates what’s most important and prioritizes one task at a time.
    **It blocks out distractions and forces you to tend to the important while dismissing the urgent matters that randomly pop up.
    **GO SMALL to GO BIG!

    Reply
  19. Jenny Vesely

    These points hit me most:
    **Laser focus isolates what’s most important and prioritizes one task at a time.
    **It blocks out distractions and forces you to tend to the important while dismissing the urgent matters that randomly pop up.
    **GO SMALL to GO BIG!

    Reply
  20. SONYA NARYSHKIN

    This is so true! I have said that “I am trying to fit the 5 lives I want to live into the one physical one I have”. So, I often find myself “multitasking”. But, just as often, I notice that I missed something , for example, in the audio I was listening to while I was simultaneously trying to catch up on bookkeeping. I also find that I have to occasionally evaluate my “shotgun” approach to exciting life, by prioritizing things, and removing those tasks and projects that others can do, so that I can better focus on those that use my abilities, skills and passions for the greatest impact and results.

    Reply

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