Thursday 16 May 2024

Professional Gamblers: Focus

We all need to focus to see the wood for the trees.

Focus is simply selective attention in action.

In a world of distractions, it seems that we all struggle to focus. You check your email and half an hour later you are looking at kitten on Tiktok. Nothing wrong with losing focus you say. However, I’m sure if someone watched our every move throughout the day and detailed how much time we waste doing something and nothing it would be startling.

Where did all the time go?

Clearly focus is important to our productivity. Perhaps you have mastered focus. You may have trained yourself. I’ve noticed how motivational speakers or internet gurus will often drop in a swear word into their conversation. You know why they do that, hey? Because it catches your attention.

When gambling, you need to focus. It’s hardly surprising hey. Let’s face it, very few people can focus for hours on end like a machine. In fact, your average adult can only focus for 15 – 20 minutes at a time.

So what does this tell us?

The mind is better at focusing in small chunks. When gambling on my niche of two-year-old horse racing, the best way to direct my attention and focus to a high level is achieved by routine. There will be times each day when it is important to focus and get the job at hand completed. Here are a few routines I employ:

  • Quickly scanning the race cards the evening before to familiarise myself

  • Later that evening thoroughly go through each two-year-old race on the card

  • Make notes and detail shortlisted horses

  • Half an hour before each race I go to my quiet room, wearing my headphones, focus on the betting, especially the last ten minutes before the race start.

The time spent on these tasks is broken in to 20 minute intervals with 10 minute breaks in between.

It is important to understand when you need to focus and not. This can help train the mind so you can quickly go from one perspective to another. If you try to focus on everything you will burnout and it is only productive to make those crucial aspects of work imperative. There isn’t a need to focus on everything because it isn’t productive or possible. In fact, you won’t get as much work completed by doubling your focus time in one sitting.

Part of focus is enjoying your subject matter. That’s why most people who are very good at their work enjoy it with a passion. It has to come from the heart. That’s why most get rich quick scheme fail because it is all about the money.

I find it works well to have a specific room to go to when you wish to focus because this helps reinforce the action.

It is good to keep a journal and simply write a few notes about your day and how you feel you focused. This will help measure the success and failure of your working process and method.