I have the attention span of a lukewarm teaspoon. I used to be able to spend hours and hours doing just one single thing (most of the time that one single thing was reading a book that I couldn’t put down). But nowadays, I won’t even wait for one google search page to load before I’m off reading something else, flitting from one book to another, 15 minutes at a time.
I fold half the laundry and then get distracted by the chaos in my wardrobe and start sorting that – only to be distracted by a Watsapp message, and then end up reading some link to an interesting (or maybe even not so interesting) article on my phone, and on and on and nothing gets fully done the first time.
Is it because we’re glued to our phones and have all of the information in the world at our fingertips that we find it hard to focus? I keep reading articles and web pages, and then I start skimming because I am not even patient enough to properly read them. What’s a distracted girl to do?
I want to slow down the chaos in my mind and the haphazard attention that I pay to everything – they say that no one can truly multi-task (not even women!) What actually happens is that your brain switches between the different tasks that you are doing – and in trying to switch between multiple tasks, you lose a few minutes of focus each time – because it takes your brain a few minutes to get back to focus on one of the things that you are doing. Constant switching means you lose lots of minutes each time you jump from one activity to another.
The better way is to just do one thing at a time. Be fully focused when making breakfast (and save yourself from burnt toast). Be fully focused when reading salaah (one Apa switches her stove off, even if she is midway through baking, so that she doesn’t feel distracted). Be fully focused when chilling with the family.
I’m not sure how to get my focus back – one solution is to force myself to read one whole book, from start to finish, without flitting around (but I have yet to succeed).