You can always find a distraction if you’re looking for one.
One of the #1 plagues in today’s society is our tendency to be distracted by anything. It’s very prevalent, and so many Personal Development gurus are trying to fix the problem . . Every time I find a new personal development blog, I search for articles about “focus”, “handling distractions”, and “getting things done”. And every single one is filled to
This prevalence reveals a fact; that all are struggling with this issue. Consider what might have been done in the world were it not for man’s tendencies to be distracted. Distractions have caused us to lose millions of hours every year, hours that could help us build deeper relationships, fix bigger problems, and change the world for the better.
Please note that a distraction isn’t necessarily harmful. It’s simply a thing that happens. But a distraction does have consequences. Recent behavior in the culture has shown an exponential increase in distractedness. Why is this?
Many would say that it’s an issue of information overload. Others would say it’s because of a rise of “ADHD-esque trends” in the way we train each other. Both of these answers could be right, or they could both be wrong. I can’t say. However, there is a problem with the analysis provided by this. The problems exist outside of an individual’s reach, instead of within his own lifestyle. The causes are abstract and vague. This abstractness allows us to blame the world around us instead of fixing ourselves in light of the problem.
So, then what should we be searching out?
I propose that the answer is within our own behaviorial patterns.
Neuroscientist David Rock wrote about this idea in his book Your Brain at Work. He noted that “man has a limited attention that he uses everyday”. The increase of information has been able to quickly dissipate one’s attention span, eating up most men’s ability to singularly focus on a single item. They wish to use smaller spurts of focus, jumping back and forth, back and forth. This process feels naturally easier.
So, man’s main problem seems to be one of focus. (you may be reading this and saying “No Duh!”) They waste their “focus” on things of irrelevance. And that has a long-term cost; a cost that affects all that we do.
What’s the solution? It is you. You must be the one to choose to focus on what matters, and avoid distractions. However, the methods for practicing it are varied. We’ll post some of the tools and ideas throughout the rest of the week. But whatever you choose to use, please remember that it is our own choices and behaviors that cause us to fall and lose focus, and that we can (and should) do something to fix that.