Distractions. They are everywhere and they are imposing on us day in day out. We cannot get rid of distractions, nor should we try to. Mankind has always been keen to be distracted, and we easily are. It comes from the time when our ancestors had to be on their toes, scanning the area for foes, and with any sighting they had to respond quickly and as such be very alert to these stimuli in their area. Humans haven’t changed much in the past few thousands of years, what has changed though is the world around us. Nowadays there are so many sources of distraction that it is quite challenging at times to be productive. When we notice a new email, or message or post at Facebook we tend to turn our attention to that, for the same reason our ancestors turned their attention to the animal in the bush. Most of the change, I reckon came in the past decade. We now live in the information age and the Industrial age is effectively over, and for the past 30 or so years, since the invention of the modern computer, things started changing, what with all the new tools and social networks, high speed internet and access to virtually anything one wishes of. Everything is just one click away and that is what’s so daring. In the past you had to go to the library to get the information you wanted, you had to call up professionals to get the knowledge, nowadays you google it. With that we have lost a big part of independency and a more importantly the persistence needed for success. As we get all the information in a matter of minutes (or even seconds) we expect and want success just as fast. Our dependence of technology grows year by year and it’s finally taking a toll on us. People don’t know how to call a person anymore to ask for something or get something done, or they are afraid to. We can always email right?
And what to do to mute distractions for at least the part of the day that we should be productive? Well we can use, ironically, all sorts of apps for the computer to disable the internet for a certain period of time, or to »make« us focus. Whichever they are, you can google them, so I won’t post them here. I’m more keen to focusing on distractions and what they mean. From ancient Rome we know that the rich and the powerful gave people »Bread and circuses« as a way to keep them entertained and thus, dull and unwilling to fight for their rights. Let people complain, but give them just enough to veer them off from any revolutionary scenarios. The thing is that we can get bored rather quickly these days as well. It has all to do with the speed of things and the click-and-go to everything. And when we get bored distractions become ever-more potent and alluring because we gravitate to them easily. It is essential for man to learn how to keep himself entertained. Reading a good book is one fine example of that. Meditating or just siting in a silent, dark room is great as well. We should focus on ourselves and turn off all the clutter and noise of the world for at least 30 minutes daily. In that time we center our focus and minds, and slow down. It’s quintessentially important to slow down. To stop and smell the roses, as they say. I think we should, stop, and smell the roses. Needless to say, I am no guru of a life of keeping from distractions, that’s why this blogpost is just as vital to me than for anyone.
Oh, my film has finished downloading (so fast), gotta run!