Distraction…. To cause to turn away from the original focus of attention or interest; divert. To pull in conflicting emotional directions; A distraction is something that takes your attention away from something on which you are focused.
We have arrived to a world full of tasks that split our focus and often diminish our capacity to pay attention. Life in this way has changed from when I was a child. As a child, I was sent to my bedroom to study in quiet. Study time was a quiet time where I was to focus on homework. Although quiet, this time was filled with distraction. I would day dream, draw pictures, and check out the car models in my closet – any way to explore a life more interesting than homework!
Since that time the lines between distraction and deliberate focus have definitely blurred. The invention of the fax machine changed our ideas on speed of communication. Now, technology development, day-to-day living and my expectations of organizing and completing tasks have led to a life where I spend most of my time managing communication. I work on multiple projects with different clients, tend to the details of life at home, plan for the future, plan social time, exercise time, and a list that continues to grow as I focus on my to-do list. I keep asking, “Will life ever become simple?”
We live in a world where technology is created to make it simpler to connect with one another and accomplish more. I now receive more correspondence in the form of email, text, fax and phone calls. Information is at my fingertips according to Google and countless other websites. I can research everything, from a word I have never heard before to detailed medical information. In short, all the information I ever needed (and much that I don’t) is available immediately. Most of all, I have come to expect information and responses from others with the same immediacy. With all the focus on technology, the way that we manage daily life and the tasks we complete, our lives are filled with distractions.
Have we come to play the game of life where a fleeting thought, text or phone call is more important than quiet time? Clearly we cannot expect to turn our backs on the world which is communication-rich. But can I honestly say my attention and focus in life has not become fractured? Where do I draw the line between the latest gossip and an immediate client response? Perhaps it is in the world of distraction where I can get away from it all? Somehow, this logic defies me!
For me, my quiet time is more and more valuable. I can choose to be distracted anytime by the phone, television, a book or my over-active imagination. When I sit to write, walk in the park or take time out in quiet, the world of busyness seems simpler.