Concentration, the Lack of, Spells Trouble

If you’ve ever attempted to cut your own hair and ended up with a fringe that puts you in the same league as Bjork, you’ll appreciate that concentration is everything. One momentary lapse of focus can be the difference between success or failure, even disaster.

Mistakes, sometimes ones with very dire consequences, often happen when a person’s mind is not 100% on the task in hand. Agony columns are filled with cries for help from people who’ve accidentally sent a compromising text to an elderly family member, a job application to their current boss and professionals who have pressed ‘send’ before checking an email is destined for the right recipient. Government officials have even come a cropper, copying in journalists when distributing top secret documents.

Classic Errors of Judgement

A classic case of lack of concentration was reported in The Guardian newspaper. A woman told a reporter she had mistakenly sent this text to her boyfriend, “Hang on, I’m about to break up with him. I’ll call you later.” In another instance, a man who fell asleep at his desk was instantly caught out by startled colleagues when he started grinding his teeth

Absentmindedness, particularly in the workplace, can have far-reaching consequences. That is why Gmail has an ‘Undo Send’ setting, which gives users, who almost instantly realise they have made a mistake, a tight window in which to save their skin. Thousands have laughed off their near misses on social media, but they wouldn’t be smiling if they hadn’t acted within the mere five to 30 seconds Gmail allows for its ‘Cancel’ function.

Walking the Technology Tightrope

Latest technology is dangerous in the wrong hands. People who don’t understand, for example, the differences between forwards, replies and reply to all options, are a liability. So too are those who don’t pay attention when using mobile phone apps such as Instagram. A young woman was delighted when she received a message from a handsome stranger saying he found her ‘attractive’. Her ego was quickly deflated when, seconds later, she received a second message, “Sorry. Wrong person.”

The instant nature of modern communication means focus is everything. Even the pros can get it wrong. Enter a promotions expert who sent 300 contacts an email with just a subject line, which unfortunately said, “Hey bro. You still top tier at Hilton? I may have something for you.”

Invest in the Best

Einstein knew what he was doing when he allowed his quick-witted chauffeur to stand in for him at a speech, the two swapping roles for an evening. Having listened to most of his master’s talks, the chauffeur knew exactly what to say. Even when confronted with a particularly tricky question by a pompous professor, he was on his toes. He replied, “Sir, the answer to that question is so simple that I will let my chauffeur, who is sitting at the back, answer it for me.”

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