Staying Focused by Having a Plan

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lou Holtz

Staying focused is something that is difficult to do in this day in age. Often, we blame non-productive activities that keep our focus off our goal. From Netflix to Instagram, we blame those things from keeping from accomplishing what we need to. Sometimes we blame family and friends, or random life events that can get in the way. I know when it comes to thinking about what I need to finish for work, the number of tasks can be overwhelming. As an elementary school teacher, the work is never really done until summer. When I step into a classroom every day, my goal is to be as prepared as possible. Research says that teachers make thousands of tiny decisions a day. These decisions can range from the lesson being taught, behaviors being seen needing correction, or students who need various levels of support. In order to stay focused on my goal, which is to prepare my students for the next grade, I plan out as much as I can. I’m not referring to just lesson planning, but I am also talking about having all handouts ready, small groups organized, presentations ready, and knowing the timing of when everything is to happen. I stayed focused by creating a plan. I do this for other parts of my life as well. I have lists of things I need to do around the house, activities I need to get done, and photography goals.

When I visited Tallulah Gorge in Northeast Georgia last summer, I had to stay focused in order to get to the bottom. In order to cross the gorge, you have to walk down over 350 steps. My wife and daughter decided to wait for us at the top, while my son and I walked to the sea at the bottom. I stayed focused on one step at a time in order to make it down there. Going down all of those steps wasn’t easy, but going back up was much more intense. I know when I made it to the top the first thing, I did was find the nearest bench and rest for several minutes. These are some of the photos I took on top of the swinging bridge at the bottom.

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