focus on where you are

Today’s Challenge: Focus on Where You Are

I wish my phone had three “do not disturb” settings. One is the regular, turn everything off except those few important family members. From 8 pm to 7 am, that is on now. However, I think many of us have a problem focusing both at work and at home. So, I wish that I had a “work only” mode for my phone and that all social media would be blocked. Finally, I wish I had a “home only” mode for my phone so social media would get through but all texts and work apps would no longer be awake.

The actress Carrie Fisher said,

“What I always wanna tell young people now: Pay attention. This isn't gonna happen again. Rather than try to understand it as it's going along, have it go along for a while and then understand it.”

Focus is something we all need.

This post is day four of 80 days of excellence. I've created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series.

I think many times I suffer from “creep.” Home life can creep into my daily work. But also, work can creep into my home life. So, instead of giving either place my entire attention, I give less than 100% sometimes.

So, in a pursuit of greater excellence, I think it is healthy to focus on where we are at this moment. If what we're doing right now is so important, it is important enough to give our entire attention.

When I'm at work, I think it is ethical to focus on the students in front of me. My school is paying me and even more so, I've made my commitment to teach.  I've given my word that I'll do a good job. How can I do a good job at something if my feet are up on my desk or if I'm mindlessly surfing social media.

(This is why I use a scheduling tool, you might see me tweet during the day, but 99% of the time, I've scheduled it before the day ever began.) 

Parents can trust that when I'm at school, I'm not going to be on social media. I'm going to focus on their children, my students.

But when I'm at home, I need to focus on my own children and husband and family. Additionally, of course, I also have the podcast and blog, and of course, this new 80 Days of Excellence endeavor of which I'm on day four with this post.

Being where you are

Yesterday after church, my son drove me home. He's still got his learners but is just about time for his driver's license test. You'd better believe that on a cold dark night, he had my 100% attention.

But does he have my attention at the supper table?

Does he have that same attention when he comes to my office with a question?

He deserves my focus, but does he have it?

Do you focus?

So, today, on our fourth day of excellence together. I challenge all of us to focus.

Focus on being where we are.

At work, be totally at work. Focus completely on getting your job done. Be excellent and give it all you have. Stay away from social media unless you need it for your job. Leave social for home time.

But when it is time to leave work, focus completely on your home. Socialize on social media if you like. But don't check email for work. Be fully present at home.

When you're having dinner tonight, give your fellow diners your total attention.

So, today, let's focus on focus. Let's be truly present where we are and tune out where we're not. Distracted driving is dangerous but so is distracted living.

Focus and pursue excellence today!

Distracted driving is dangerous but so is distracted living.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere
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