Find flow, fight fear, and create focus!

About Refocuser

Mike Torres Hi there – my name is Mike Torres and I’m a father, husband, son, brother, blogger, author, martial artist, kettlebell instructor, and a Director at among other things.  Like you, I wear a bunch of hats and as a result, my focus shifts constantly from week-to-week, day-to-day, and even hour-to-hour on busy days.

About 15 years ago I became riveted with the area of focus, specifically what I call self-directed focus or the ability to apply your focus at will to whatever requires your attention.  I’d been itching to start a blog on the topic for some time and in early 2009 decided to just “go for it”.  This is that blog.

Refocuser is about focus.  And about me at times.

This is not a pure productivity or “life hacks” blog.  There are already enough Getting Things Done (GTD) blogs on the net and many of them are fantastic and well-written.  But just checking things off of a to-do list can feel meaningless without seeing the bigger picture.  This blog is more about realizing your potential as a human being through self-directed focus; and you can never learn enough about that.

Refocuser will cover:

  • Goal setting
  • Flow
  • Fear management
  • Work/life balance
  • Conflict management
  • Productivity and yes, some ‘lifehacks’ occasionally
  • Nutrition and supplementation (fuel for focus!)
  • Exercise and activity
  • Philosophy
  • Positivity
  • Purpose
  • Sleep (it matters more than you think!)
  • Simplicity
  • Creativity
  • Leadership

When you’re truly focused, work, play, and love are where they belong – synchronized and using each other for counter-balance.  Self-directed focus means you can be 100% committed and “present” in whatever you’re doing – not wondering why you’re doing this and “not that”.  When you’re sitting down to read to your child, you should be planning to do so without distraction.

026This blog will cover a number of systems or methodologies at times, but it primarily will help synthesize information so you can pick and choose what would work best for you.  Think about the information what you see here as pouring water over an ice cube tray.  You don’t always know which blocks are full and which are empty until you run water over the tray.  If you have a solid block of information, new information won’t change that. But if there’s a spot that’s missing or cracked, water will fill in or solidify the block for you, just like new information can help fill gaps in your knowledge.  It’s a good way to think about learning in general for me.

I’m going to drill on the basics as this is something I’ve learned works best.  As in anything, the basics are what separates a white belt from a black belt, not fancy technique.  Getting better at the basics is what will make you a black belt in life.


Expect a max of about 2-4 new posts each month depending on the month.  Like you, I don’t like reading bloggers who post 1,000 word essays every 10 minutes.  Quality over quantity.

If you want something a little more frequent, check out Refocuser on Twitter where you can get tips and tricks (you can even send them to your phone).

More About Me…

I always have a hard time writing these things, but here we go:

  • 054I’m married, living in gorgeous Seattle, and have two wonderful children.  Family first.
  • I’m originally from New Jersey.
  • I’m a Director at in Kindle group.
  • Prior to, I spent 10 years at Microsoft in various roles in Program Management.
  • Prior to that, I helped start or was part of a few high-tech startups and saw some bona fide successes (and some bona fide failures).
  • I set aside time to write each week while my kids nap.
  • Between audiobooks, Kindle books, and real books I set a goal each year to read more than 20 non-fiction books annually.
  • I’ve been practicing martial arts since age nine and have a few black belts and instructorships.  Still love it and still not that good at it.
  • I have a degree in Psychology (with a concentration in computer science) from Cornell University.
  • I am a certified kettlebell instructor with StrongFirst (SFG).
  • I was also certified by the ISSA and NSCA (CSCS and NSCA-CPT) for years but let the certifications expire so I could focus on more important things.
  • I’ve been blogging (on different blogs) since 2002.
  • I co-authored a book on blogging in 2005 and was interviewed for the top blogging book, Naked Conversations, back when my personal blog was in the Technorati top 100.  Even though I know it’s “old school” I still dream of writing another book… this time on focus!  Or maybe a Sci-Fi novel.
  • A few years ago I was featured in Fitness Life (read the article; note the email address is no longer active) and have also appeared in USA Today, World of Boxing, and Black Belt Magazine.
  • I workout 4-5 times/week between strength training, running, and martial arts.
  • I published my personal vision as part of the Twelve Goals program if you’d like to learn even more.

You can also find me on my personal Twitter feed which is full of random quips and even more geeky stuff.  And if you still want to see more about me, my home is at

What next?

Browse through the site and start filling your own toolbox.  Email me with questions if you have any.  Or just sit-back, relax, and subscribe to updates via email, Twitter, or RSS. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it!