Many Movies, How stretchable is your attention?
There is a LOT going on, now add in a few movies. How’s your attention now? We are all a little loopy, burned out, and stretched beyond belief. This has really been an unimaginable year. We think we are paying attention to our work but really, we’re not. I have talked about focus before, it is one of my greatest challenges because I am afflicted with the shiny-object syndrome, squirrel? Let’s say you have a bunch of TV screens, and you are sitting down, all cozy in front of one, watching your favorite movie. Then you turn on a replay of your favorite series. Now 2 TV’s are pumping out exciting interesting stuff that you like. Thennnnnn the 3rd tv starts up with a film you haven’t seen but really really want to see. You have 3 TV’s going all with stuff that interests you. How much of the first film are you watching? Remembering? Do you even know that the series is now playing episode 4? If you’ve even been in a sports bar on a Sunday trying to watch your game, you will know how hard it is to focus on just your game. If you turn your head for a second you become engaged in a new game.
That is what life is like right now. Many movies playing all at the same time, all competing for your undivided attention. However, divided, it shall remain because, in essence, we cannot ‘multitask’. I know you THINK you can multitask but your brain can’t. That’s why we don’t text and drive. Your attention is really only able to focus on one thing at a time. Sure you maybe have done some things multitasking but your error rate, time to accomplish, and creativity are all going to lose. Committing to doing one task at a time will get you through your to-do list faster than if you try to multitask. If by chance you are on Headspace (not an ad) they have a new section called Focus. Focus music is 180 minutes of concentration that I am slowly becoming addicted to.
Working from home it is super easy to get distracted and then there are all those podcasts I signed up for. But it is impossible to write while listening to someone talk! I use meditation, focus music, and short walks to keep me on track, and switching tracks. When you are moving between clients you have to have some kind of break to get your head ready for the next job. But keep the analogy in mind with the several interesting things all playing at once. Now be honest. Wouldn’t it be more comfortable to turn off the other TV’s and just watch the one?