what happened to my attention span?

When I was a kid, I crushed our church Christmas plays. I routinely had the lead male role (humblebrag) and took it very, very seriously.

I remember spending entire evenings memorizing my lines. I practiced delivering them with inflection. I could sit and read these scripts for hours, memorizing full paragraphs of lines that I could deliver on cue throughout the whole 30-45 minute production.

Now I can’t even read a full page of text without getting fidgety.

As I’m writing this, I’m bouncing between an ebook that I’m reading, answering text messages, checking that new email that hit my inbox, and looking out the window. This is while music plays in my earbuds.

This loss of attention span and ability to easily focus, along with my poor memory, is super concerning to me.

When our social networks and internet search providers are spending literally billions of dollars on cutting edge research to understand of human psychology, with the expressed goal of stealing more of our attention, how can we compete?

Honestly – do you think you have a better chance of consciously disciplining yourself to focus better than the research shows how to subconsciously distract you? And that’s only an option for people who are aware that this battle for our attention even exists and impacts our lives.

It’s not a fair fight.

Multi-tasking is a myth. And the attempted practice of it actually causes more harm than good.

In an age when we are more tempted and able to work at all hours of the day, the unfair advantage actually belongs to the person with discipline and systems for creating and maintaining focus.


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