September 26, 2011
I need to be a uni-tasker, not a multi-tasker. At least when it comes to stenography. I need to think of one thing at a time, not a million things a second while attempting to write at 180/200 WPM with four voices shooting off at any time!
Unfortunately, I haven't been writing my best lately because I've been dong the exact opposite of what I should be doing during test time. I over-think too much. In fact, so much that I'm repeating in my head, which is such a bad habit to acquire in speed-building. You want to just hear the word, write the word, hear the word, write the word. I need to shut off my wandering thoughts, not second-guess myself on how to stroke this or that, and let my fingers do their thing.
Last week we had a guest speaker at school. She is an alumnus of Downey Adult School and now works as a freelance reporter at Hutchings Court Reporters. She passed the CSR in three attempts. The first time, she passed the machine portion (which is usually the last section people pass; she said she was always good on the machine), the second time she passed the codes/ethics portions, and the third time she passed the English portion. She jokingly said that she thinks she has a one track mind and needs to concentrate on one task at a time. I think that's great! I want to be like her! You set a goal and work toward that goal until it becomes an ACCOMPLISHED goal.
Our guest speaker was so focused on the CSR test that she didn't hear of another test-taker literally run and scream out of the room as soon as the 10-minute test was done (poor lady!). She only heard of this through another test-taker after the test was done. Our guest speaker didn't hear anything because she was SO FOCUSED during the test! She was actively waiting to hear what the speakers would say next. A natural disaster could have struck that room, and she said she probably would not have noticed. Oh, to get to that level of focused concentration, of uni-tasking purposefully.
I looked up the definition of focus on dictionary.com. Focus means to aim attention at. Some synonyms of focus are such words as centralize, fasten, fixate, hone in, pinpoint, bull's eye, core, focal point, heart, limelight, locus, zero in, spotlight, and target. Two antonyms of focus are ignore and neglect. This hits home for me... because I do NOT want to ignore or neglect my speed-building. I want to discipline my mind to focus and write at my goal speed (and higher), so that I can move closer and closer to passing my next test. I need to get back to the basics of zoning out when I write. For me that means focusing on one object in front of me, which is usually a spot on the floor, a pen, the chair in front of me -- whatever. I want to focus so much on that object and hear the speaker's words so clearly that my eyes become blurry but my fingers are keeping up with the speaker as they stroke out syllable by syllable on the steno machine.
Anyway, that's my rant for today, hehe. Hope you guys are all doing well and focusing better than me whether that is at school or out on the job. May we all learn to become better uni-taskers as we speed-build!
P.S. Here is another blog post about staying in the zone, focusing, or having "no mind."