Friday, February 5, 2016

A Focused Five Minutes

Years ago I took a personality test which seemed to answer many questions.  Out of the hundred or so in the room, I was one of three whose test results landed them in the “task-unstructured” category.  Ah, yes, that answered a lot.

I love accomplishing tasks, but please, don’t ever make me sit in a room and stuff 10,000 envelopes again like that time,  fresh out of college with my business degree in check and very little confidence to make my mark on the world, I worked as a unit secretary.  We were the team assigned the task of sending out a huge department mailing, long before that kind of thing could be hired out and automated.  We were the automation.  

Being made to punch a clock and repeat a mundane task for hours might be the most effective torture for me.  Because for me, repetition equals torture.

Worship songs that repeat notes and words the whole time are akin to nonsense for me. Why do we need to sing the same thing over and over again?  Isn’t that the “meaningless repetition” we were warned against? (Just kidding, kind of.)

I was made for variety. Love multi-tasking.  It keeps my brain sharp.
As a mother of six kids home at once, it was a necessary skill, this multi-tasking thing.  

My husband, on the other hand is as focused as a person can be.  Whatever he is working on at any moment has his undivided attention.  He loves routine.  Loves the predictable.  Whatever might interrupt that task becomes a hindrance to his focus. 

You can imagine the conversations that entail from two people on opposite sides of the focus spectrum.  

“Honey, you need to focus. “  (On which item?)
“What are your plans for today?” (How much time do you have?)
“Did you get XYZ done?”  (Well, haven’t quite gotten there yet.)

Do you see the struggle?  It’s real, folks.

Focus is important.  People who’ve accomplished the most in their short lives here on earth possess it.  The visionaries, the CEO’s score high in the focus column.  But let’s not forget, for every CEO, every visionary, there are many personal assistants who are assigned multi-tasking details to make the projects work.

Are you a focused, driven personality? Or are you the variety-driven, multi-tasker? Both are necessary. We need each other.