Why is Staying Focused So Hard?

Staying Focused is Important and it seems to be a problem for so many. There are so many distractions that can draw you away from that you need to do. It seems to be almost at an epidemic level. No wonder our children have trouble focusing to get things done…parents can’t focused enough to keep their children focused!


My personal opinion is that technology has made it even more difficult to stay focused. Our need to be “in the know” and “up to date” with everything that is going on in the World – within minutes of an event seems to be a driving force in what and how we live our daily lives. It is also distracting us from our family life and our family lifestyle. Take a look at a family that has gone out to dinner in a restaurant. Odds are that in a family of 4, at least 2 people will be sitting at the table with their phones in their hands and tweeting, posting, emailing or texting.

Staying focused is also difficult because we feel the need to multi-task all the time. We can check email while sitting at a traffic light; send a tweet while sitting in a meeting and hold a conversation on our cell phones while we are doing just about anything and everything else during the day.


Whether we realize it or not, the stress of trying to do more and more is counter-productive. Because technology seems to make it “easier” for us to do more in less time, we are expecting more of ourselves. We put more pressure on ourselves to do the same amount of work (or more) in less time. Because…shouldn’t all of this technology help us save time? And, there is an “app” for that!

The problem with having an “app” to help with everything is that we can lose focus on what we can (and should) be doing while we are learning how to use the new app.  There is always a learning curve associated with anything that is new. And, we want to know it all, right now!


The constant development of new apps for our phones, ipads, tablets and computers can be very addicting. I relate it to a pilot of an F14 or F18 and the movie Top Gun. We have the “Need for Speed”. Maybe you can relate it to sitting behind the wheel at a Nascar Race. We want the new app to be the answer for us to get more done…in less time. And, when that doesn’t happen immediately, we get frustrated and move on to the next app – with the same promises to make life easier.

The truth about staying focused is to know your personality and what will (and won’t) work for you.  I work with a paper calendar (and will always use a paper calendar). That is my personality and it works for me. However, tracking my mileage on paper is not a good idea for my personality. I tried it several times and it just doesn’t work…so I track my mileage on my cell phone. After all, there are only tons of apps to choose from.  I found one that works for me because it is quick and easy and basic.  It doesn’t include unneeded bells and whistles.

Linda Clevenger, Organization Direct