Do you ever find yourself ready to sit down at the computer to do that one task you’ve had at the top of your to-do list, but then you end up ordering paper towels or socks?
What about you’re on the way to get the clothes out of the washing machine, but you trip over your shoes and then you get mad, put them up and end up completely cleaning out your closet forgetting about the laundry?
Okay one more…..you finally sit down to text your friend back about happy hour, and then 25 minutes blows by because you never texted your friend, you went on social media instead and it sucked you into a vortex of time?
I don’t know about you but anything that has to do with my phone, distraction ALWAYS comes into play.
A friend of mine recommended the book Indistractible by Nir Eyal, so I did some looking into it and found some seriously interesting content, this information paired with listening to people who speak about carry around large burdens (including myself in this) reminded me of my brain fog, need for escape, the feeling of not being able to remember things, and more.
The opposite of distraction is not focus, it’s actually traction. When you break it down distraction is any action that pulls you away from what you want to do or what your core values are. Traction is any action that pulls you towards what you want to do or your core values.
So, back to the question of sitting down at the computer… Yes, you definitely needed paper towels, but it was a distraction. Scrolling through social media could have been either distraction or traction depending on if you were intentionally scrolling or not. I’m guessing, because I’m all too familiar, that it was a distraction.
Here’s one thing, in my opinion, that people tend to forget. Whether or not you have a phone or the internet, you will find replacement things to distract you.
There’s a few things to ask yourself when you get present to your distractions:
- What is this costing me?
- Do I actually need rest?
- Does this pull me towards where I want to go?
Let’s jump to the good stuff…yes, you can put limits on apps and create tools to help boost productivity, but at the end of the day you might just need to work the muscle of attention. Did you know that meditation can actually boost your attention span and your memory after about 8 weeks. In a study in 2018, it was stated that even brief daily meditation practices can have similar behavioral effects as longer duration and high-intensity meditation practices.
It might not be the quick internet-add on that you were looking for, but when it comes to long term impact in your overall mental health meditation is key. I do think this book has valuable information and came with great insight, but I loved what Eyal said in this video that distraction opportunities are only going to get worse as technology expands.