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Focus for Success

November 29, 2012

Photo by Sarah Mattozzi

By Otesa Miles

Have you ever tried to write an email while talking on the phone or sent a barrage of texts while playing with your kids? Did you notice more mistakes in what you were writing? Although many people call this multitasking, others might say you’re distracted.

For adults and children alike, focusing one task can often provide better and quicker results.

Recent studies have shown that switching from one task to another has a negative impact on performance. Although you may think your brain can do several things at once, a study at the Ohio State University found that those who multitasked weren’t as successful in completing their tasks.

At Shaka Smart Basketball Camps, we focus on developing one basketball skill at a time, through our “stations.” This means coaches work with campers on one specific area to help them improve. This type of focus can be applied to other areas of life as well. For example, let’s take homework. Most students have tried to do their homework in front of the television, while snacking or between texts. Because they aren’t fully focused on completing their assignment, there is a greater chance of misspelled words, math errors or more serious mistakes. Similar to our set up in camp, homework can be its own “station,” where students have all the supplies they need at hand and they can concentrate on completing their assignments without interruption.

This same “station” mentality can be applied to household chores, personal projects, practicing an instrument, family dinner or other areas that might call for focused attention. Their rooms will be cleaned faster and the laundry sort may be a success, if done without a smartphone in hand.

This level of attention will help establish positive study habits that may later translate into valuable job skills.

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