If I had to say one thing that I think defines our lives, it’s the attention, our focus on anything. What we pay attention to becomes part of our life. Unfortunately, it’s also the attention that people are losing these days. We’re distracted, the media is vying for our attention, companies with their products, people around us as well. We’re always late for something and not having enough time. Is there a solution to this?
There are basically three solutions:
1. information diet – limit our attention to the input of new information that does not add value (does not improve our lives, does not develop us), for example media, social networks. It’s hard because a lot of people have developed an addiction to these things. We have to work with it gradually, but it is possible. For example, set a time limit for this kind of entertainment (social media) and then hide the phone.
2. mindfulness – attention is actually the only tool we work with during the exercises and we strengthen it. It makes us more able to notice the present moment, be calmer, less distracted, less caught up in negative thoughts. It only requires practice of the mindfulness practices.
3. set long-term goals and work towards them – for example, getting better at a foreign language or learning another new skill. But for a lot of people, it starts with the intention, and also, ends there. How do we prevent this? Block out a given amount of time ONLY for that activity. For example, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I will spend two hours from 4pm to 6pm learning Swahili, no internet, no phone. You’ll see how, as you make your first progress, you’ll start getting control of your attention back, because the feeling of creating something is better than a 5-second video on tiktok.
#8 / There are several solutions. But they require time and a willingness to get your attention back. Pay attention to what and who you give your attention to. It’s the most valuable thing you have.