Do I have your attention? Your full and undivided attention. If I do, it probably won’t last long. In fact it’s probably only a matter of minutes until, wait is that a pigeon? How did that pigeon get there? Ooh, what’s this? Hey, somebody liked my tweet. That’s cool. Ooh that reminds me, I must check the movie times because I think we’re going to the movies tonight. In fact, I think I’ll just take another look at that trailer because I’m not so sure about that movie and-
Oops. Sorry, got a little distracted there.
If you’re a writer or a creative of any sort, you’re likely no stranger to distraction. You probably spent a great deal of your youth drifting off to fantasy worlds when your mind wasn’t completely occupied, crafting narratives and creating characters forged in the raw material of your gray matter. But in the digital age our distraction levels are off the charts. With smart phones, tablets and everything but our shoes interconnected via Bluetooth, the endless stream of digital data coming at us from all angles never stops vying for our attention. It may be possible that you have adult ADHD or it may just be that you need to take some time to center yourself or practice mindfulness. Here are some signs that you may be a victim of our increasingly distracted times…
Cars on the road just appear “out of nowhere”
Distraction, especially that caused by electronic devices, can be every but as intoxicating as alcohol. It can limit your inhibitions, cause you to take risks and drive erratically in a way that creates a hazard to yourself and other road users. Of course, if you find yourself involved in an accident as a result of someone else’s negligence you can seek justice when you get the right attorney. But when other drivers seem to come out of nowhere and you frequently find yourself having to slam on the brakes, it’s worth at least considering that maybe you’re the problem.
Your significant other is often frustrated with you
Do you drift off in the middle of conversations? Do you divide your time between your partner telling you how their day at work went and your Facebook feed? Do you find yourself arguing with your significant other regularly because you forgot an important date, neglected to do something that you promised you’d do or couldn’t find time for because your day seemed to just evaporate? These are all signs that your distraction may be impinging on your relationship.
Your smartphone is never far from your hand
Do you feel naked without your smartphone in your hand? Do you find yourself in paroxysms of panic when you don’t feel it in your pocket? Do you find the prospect of even going to the bathroom without it utterly ridiculous. In an age where we’re increasingly reliant on electronic devices we can find ourselves in a perpetual state of distraction in which the here and now seems merely abstract.
Practice mindfulness meditation at least once a day, however, and you’ll slowly but surely get your mind back on track.