We’ve all been there.
In the middle of teaching a lesson, about to go on to the next crucial teaching point when suddenly, for no apparent reason, we totally lose track of what we were about to say.
Grasping, hoping to remember what we were going to teach next, an internal monologue begins:
“How could you possibly forget what you were about to say? You’ve taught this topic so many times! What on earth is wrong with you?! Ughhhhhh.”
And this involuntary internal monologue derails any chance that we might have had to re-focus and get back on track.
Just like that, all the diligent preparation that went into that lesson plan flies out the window.
Even though our students may never notice these lapses in focus, we know that they happen.
And if you’re like me, you want to make these lapses happen as infrequently as possible. Fortunately, the solution is simpler than you might think.
The Foolproof Way to Re-Focus
Take a deep breath.
Focus on your inhale, then your exhale.
Watch your focus return.
90% of the time, this is all it takes. In the brief time it takes to focus on one full inhale and exhale, our focus returns to us.
What normally gets in the way of remembering where we are and re-focusing is the sudden fear and self-judgement that arises when we lose track of what we’re doing. Negative self-talk interrupts the process and things go downhill quickly.
So, next time you lose track of where you are, rather than immediately launching a self-judgement attack on yourself, give yourself the 10-30 seconds it takes to:
Intentionally slow down. Resist the urge to rush ahead.
Take a deep breath and notice the full inhale and exhale.
Let your focus return.
If the next teaching point hasn’t come back to you by then, that’s ok!
By taking a moment to calm yourself, you will have cultivated the kind of focus you need to improvise the rest of the lesson skillfully.
If that’s not enough, there are quite a few ways you can design notes and reminders for yourself that allow you to flow seamlessly throughout your lessons. But that’s a topic for another post!
As you start noticing the benefits of being more mindfully focused, productive, and efficient in your music teaching life, you might wonder how to take all of this to the next level.
If that sounds like you, you’ll be interested in “Overwhelmed to Organized,” a new online course (coming soon) for music teachers.
In this course, you will learn how to go from overwhelmed and exhausted to mindfully organized and joyfully efficient.
If you’d like to be the first to receive details about this course and receive a special offer when it launches, join the interest list here:
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