What a question! And my answer is simply that I don’t!
It is one of the things about me that really annoys other people and in particular, I think, David.
I find it very difficult to focus on one thing. A big example is when we are cleaning or tidying the house, ditto tidying or sorting a classroom. I start with one thing that leads to part of another and I find small jobs to do that detract my time from the larger task in hand.
When I am writing I can only do so if I have Facebook open, can check the news and the weather, my Google calendar …
A good book is one thing that will hold my focus, so much so that I could happily not move from my bed until a whole volume is complete. At least I used to be able to do that before the babies were born!
Despite my lack of focus I always seem to get things done. And on the whole I would say that I do most things well.
Many summers have been spent with the contents of my classroom all over the floor until minutes before the first bell of term, but when the pupils walked in from the playground they would not be disappointed with what they found. Somehow I always get it done!
Drama is another good example. I have had some large roles with lots of lines in a number of stage productions but I would never learn my lines until the very last minute. I would never give my all in a rehearsal but on perfomance night I would give everything, my heart and soul and be word perfect to boot. But I could never sit down with a script and learn my lines, listen to them over and over on tape perfecting every sound, but somehow without that focus the job would still get done.
Coursework at school was very much the same. And university too.
I like to work to a deadline, particularly with writing. I enjoy the pressure of having literally hours to write the last pages add the finishing flourish. I love the rush!
Staying focused is definitely not a strength that I possess but it does not affect my ability to get things done.
And yet there is a part of me that gets annoyed with others when they are not focused on a task or activity. As though I feel stress for them that they will not get the given thing done.
So maybe deep inside I know that if I didi have the ability to focus, to concentrate then I would use my time more efficiently and do better than getting the job done???
What a question!