There are 27 living plants in my house. If you were to ask me how they thrive, I would tell you I water them every week. That’s it. Sure I check the soil every now and then, but mostly, it’s the water. And the best light. Because I give my attention to the bromeliads and orchids and spider plants and Christmas cactus, they respond. Scientifically, I know they provide oxygen and increase humidity, and even reduce some level of dust and pollutants. But that’s not what changes my mood when I walk into the room. It’s something about their effortless beauty that makes me more calm.

When you choose to focus on something, whatever you put your attention on becomes stronger. But how do you decide what to focus on when there are so many distractions?

“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” Winston Churchill

It is important to know the dogs that are vying for your attention. Once you know whether they bite or they’re all bark, deal with them accordingly. And keep walking.

If you’re wondering how to focus today, here’s a place to begin.

  1. Zero in on one thing at a time. Multi-tasking is so over-rated. If you really want to get something done, do it. And then move on.
  2. Be present. It’s so true that if you’re steeped in a past event or anxious about what’s in the future, staying mentally focused is very challenging. Making a conscious choice to be right here right now is one of the biggest gifts you can offer yourself.
  3. Move. When you finish a task, stand up. Wash the dishes in the office lunchroom. Step outside and walk around the block. Rake the leaves. Put a load of laundry in the washer. Sweep the front steps. Attaching movement to whatever you’ve just completed seals the effort.

This morning, I chose to start writing before anything else. To clear the distraction, I silenced all notifications. Once the post is complete, I will get up and add some potting mix to my orchids. This task will be complete.

Then it’s off to the next order of business.

Where will you focus your attention today?

Nothing can stop you. Not even a barking dog.