December 11, 2010

The Law of Distraction

Multi-tasking arises out of distraction itself ~Marilyn vos Savant

Distraction: the enemy of focus. Have you ever marveled at how much you can accomplish when you are not distracted? Have you ever noticed how the quality also increases?

Who ever said multi-tasking is a good thing?

In the movie, The Last Samurai, Tom Cruise's character describes this very simple culture in which he finds himself immersed. He brings with him his perspective, as we all do; which happens to be an American one. It is also when America is experiencing great change by way of the industrial revolution. He is shocked at how these people, known as the Samurai, spend their entire lives perfecting whatever task to which they have set their mind. And by our standards, they move extremely slow, paying close attention to every single detail. They are focused only on the single task in front of them; at whatever stage it is in.

The sole purpose of multi-tasking is to get as many things done as possible; regard for quality takes a backseat.

How much time do we spend actually working while we're at work? What if we applied all of our attention to the task at hand. What would that work look like? I argue that it would not only be done more efficiently, but the "product" would be of higher quality. Your odds of making a mistake are reduced greatly. Have you ever had to go back and redo an entire task because you rushed through it the first time? Slow down. Focus. The whole world will benefit.

Quiet your mind. Allow it to focus completely on the task at hand. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish.

It is a lofty challenge...this mission to avoid distraction. It is not merely external (with advertisers, Facebook, Twitter, people, drama, TV, etc.) -- it is also internal. Our thoughts can affect our emotional state and our biological state. Have you ever anxiously thought yourself into a headache?

Your thoughts can either control you, or you can control your thoughts. I say, let them be the tool in your creative endeavor. I say, allow only the constructive thoughts to survive in the finite hours of a day. What could the human race achieve if it focused solely on perfecting the task at hand, and didn't lose precious time on viciously hunting for the destination?

It is all about the journey, right?

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