Attention span, selective vision or hearing, long term tasks.
We live in a world where we are bombarded with distractions all the time. When we are at work trying to focus on a report, a million things try to take our attention away – from social media messages to mobile phones ringing, to a colleague walking up for a chat. Even our addiction to technology is not helping us a lot here, with a lot of push notifications taking away our attention from whatever it is that we are doing.
Focus is in fact a particular ability that we need to exercise more and more, and be rigorous in trying to be able to select what to hear / see if we want to perform better. Our attention span changes as we age, and such differences can also be compensated by proper mental training.
There are also other areas of interest that come under this cognitive ability. Accurate visual matching skills, like seeing a familiar face in a stadium of people, or even managing to switch quickly between tasks is also part of the focus ability. In fact, the skills related to multitasking (or rather, the ability of our brain keeping track of two or more things at the same time) do improve once we train ourselves.
There are several jobs that require focus and where this can be the difference between life and death. Electricians, transport drivers, medical staff, policemen and air traffic controllers are but some examples of this.