A Pot of Chai at Short and Stout


My adult piano student noticed an injury on my finger due to being distracted while cooking, and told me her new mantra is “focus and finish.” I have decided to try it.

The key word is “finish” because I have no problem jumping into a task with full enthusiasm, but I am often distracted and leave it undone: phone call, ask for help from children in the house, remembered item to write on the to-do list before I forget again, an immediate need for tea, anything and everything.

I was washing dishes and my son asked for help on the computer. I called, “sure!”, turned off the water, but then said out loud to myself, “focus and finish.” I called back, “I’ll be there in a few minutes,” turned on the water and finished my task. I hate doing the dishes, and love to have a reason to leave. But then they were done. It felt good.

(The pot of chai in the title is from earlier. I was meeting a friend at a local tea shop. She is having a hard time and a chat over tea was suggested. 90% of the time I walk in here I order the chai because their blend is the superbestest. My friend ordered a pot of sencha, and we spent a quiet hour or so sipping and talking. I had no words of wisdom, but I listened, and supported her best efforts to deal with a sad situation. What else is there but tea and time?)

It’s easier to focus and finish outside the house and away from the many things that visually call out to be done. But I haven’t hurt myself cooking this week; so far my new mantra is helping. At first I thought making myself finish a task would encourage me to speed it up- something that is NOT helpful for preventing injuries with sharp and heated objects. Yet the opposite has happened. I wonder why?

For a meta angle, I have sat here and typed this entire post without getting up to refill my tea, or take a break to have a conversation, or switch the laundry. It may not last, but my ‘focus and finish’ experiment this week has been peaceful. Say it with me, “Focus and Finish.”


Rise unfettered.
Move with intention
Be grand.


  1. Allison E

    Focus is a HUGE issue for me. It is unbelievably difficult for me to stay focused on one thing, especially when oooo shiny internets.
    I've downloaded music specifically engineered to help me focus. It helps most of the time but sometimes, I need distract myself in order to get to that space where I can finish. Bahhh!

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