Apr 12, 2019

Daily Focus Can Trip Me Up

Lord, help me to—oh, look! A bird—focus today. Jenn Whitmer coach

Popcorn thoughts and piggybacking ideas? I’m there with purple markers and a whiteboard. 

My natural preference thrives in big picture ideas and vision and goal setting and what’s next. 

It’s the little, linear details of daily life that trip me up. Getting from one task to the next without succumbing to shiny distractions or bailing because the task isn’t fun (I’m looking at you #taxes) seems to require more effort from me. Have you ever wandered into the kitchen with a pen and a candle and forgotten why you were there? No? Just me?

For those of you who can relate, I’ve got a tiny, magical nugget of help for you.

Years ago, I had a wise mentor share her similar struggles with me. Amy taught me a simple tool that decades later I still use.


I know everyone says you have to focus on what’s in front of you, but the more important question is how? How do I focus?

Amy’s little trick was this:

Follow One Course Until Sucessfull Jenn Whitmer Coach






That’s actually what focus is: completing the task before switching course. I would (well, still do) repeat this quietly to myself when I am walking through the house or the office.

Opportunities to change course mid-stream present themselves every moment, outside and from within.

  • Walking through the door with my bag? Follow one course until successfully at the closet where it belongs rather than stopping at the kitchen table.
  • Delivering a folder at the office? Follow one course until successfully at the person’s desk, not the break room because cookies!
  • Popping online to check a URL? Say it out loud with me, friends: Follow One Course Until Successful.

I’ve taught my students, my colleagues, and my own children to repeat this to themselves when trying to complete a task or stay engaged. The random socks in my house make me think there is still some room to grow… 

This simple practice, expanded to the rest of our lives, is powerful. Opportunities to change course mid-stream present themselves every moment, outside and from within. Finish the task. Keep going in the same direction until there is success.

Try it in the minutia of everyday life. I venture to guess you will develop a stronger habit of focus and find fewer random socks.

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