We live in a world of distraction (an obvious observation). It is horrible (my opinion), but only because it is increasingly hard to focus and direct our attention. I struggle on a regular basis to find the mental quiet needed to paint. Every person, every device, every responsibility, every possession (okay, I’m going overboard) demands bits of our attention. Your day can quite easily NEVER feel like your own. It’s reasonable to want something else.
We place a significant amount of energy into avoiding concentration. As an example, no matter how brief I make it, my morning meditation elicits an out-sized protest from my ego. It doesn’t want to participate. More pointedly, it doesn’t want to BEGIN the activity. Once I start, I’m usually good. Same with exercise. Same with beginning an especially concentration-heavy work task. Same with painting. The list goes on and on for me…assuming it does for you as well.
This article titled The Most Important Skill of the Future is Being Indistractable speaks to the future importance for the skill of being laser-focused. The author could have called this article The Art of Attention. In fact, Elena Brower wrote a beautiful book with that title that explores that subject quite well via a meditation and yoga practice.
Well that future is NOW.
A morning meditation practice, a mid-day yoga break, a day scheduled with activities that get you closer to important goals are all helpful pieces to solving our distraction conundrum. Limiting unplanned internet moments is also imperative, the ones where you “just take a peek” at Facebook or look up some previously unimportant recipe and then 45 minutes later you’ve completely forgotten what brought you onto the web in the first place. The other key is STOPPING when your allotted activity is complete. Don’t force yourself to work longer on a task, honor your committment to begin and end tasks when you scheduled them.