I've been working on my yoga homework assignment this morning, and realised that I seriously have a problem.
I have lost the ability to concentrate on a single task for more than a
few minutes, couple of seconds at a time.
The yoga assignment involved preparing a presentation on the eight limbs of yoga, the sixth of which is Dharana, and is explained in the Yoga sutra’s of Patanjali as being
‘the binding of the mind to one place, object or idea’,
and is the practice of concentration. This is the ability of the mind to give it’s attention to one thing, to focus it in one direction only.
I used to be good at this. Seriously, I was never one of those people who was bouncing off of the walls, or bouncing a golf ball off the wall like my old University housemate Simon used to do, when I was studying at school or University.
Of course I used to have the usual moments of staring into space, and my mind wondering, but these days it's a different kind of problem I face.
The freaking internet.
I also think that this problem descended on me later than most people. I was slow off the mark in getting a smartphone, and it was a hand me down from Pete that got me into the whole mobile email world.
Also, at all my previous jobs, I worked non stop face to face with patients and we hand wrote our treatment notes. I also didn't write this blog, and as I've mentioned before, I had only ever read a blog post or two before I started this blog a year ago.
Well how things have changed.
I would be lost without my iPhone. I spend sooo much time on my iPad, that the other day I thought it was going to melt on me it got so warm.
I keep my treatment notes online since I started my own business and so spend a large amount of time sat here being distracted here writing those.
And then of course, I've discovered the amazing world of bloggerland and wow but have I fallen one million percent in love with following the daily lives of people who haven't the slightest clue that I exist.
The main distraction culprits for me are:
1. Facebook. Without question. The hours of my life that I have lost to scrolling down my homepage are depressing. The weddings that I have stalked must be in the thousands, and the lives of people that I have observed from my computer screen are countless.
I love that I can keep up with friends and family that live far away, but seriously, I don't think I need to check in on all of them as I often as I do...
I have removed the app from my phone,
but do sometimes still check via a sneaky safari log in, and do feel better for it.
2. Gmail. When I see that there has been some action in my inbox, it's like an itch that I absolutely have to scratch, and need to view it immediately. Not that I respond to it or act on it very quickly, I usually just leave it there looming over my to do list.
3. Twitter, not as much as a problem as the two above but still a huge time waster. I think if you are interacting on it, then it can be good to grow your network, but if you are just observing, you are wasting time.
And then I don't want to put blogs on the list as I feel that I get more benefit and joy from them than detrimental distraction. And of course I love that you are reading this right now on my blog.
And then there is Pinterest, I have not got into it nearly as much as most people have, but I can see it is soon going to be a problem, albeit a pretty one.
But I do think that all of the above are essential to my life, I just need to be more disciplined in not succumbing to them as frequently and for as long as I do.
And I need to focus fully on one task at a time. Like writing this, and not quickly checking that new email that I can see has popped up on my gmail tab...or the new notification on my Facebook, or the whatsaspp that just came through on my phone, or the text that I can see that Pete has just sent me.
It's like my mind is constantly functioning on the superficial layer, and I don't properly think about or engage in deeper thought about subjects that aren't derived from other peoples social media accounts nearly enough sometimes...
I met a lady the other day who said:
"I just wish I could get more into Facebook, it just doesn't interest me."
And I was like...
Congratulations to you and your concentration levels if you are still reading this, I met a blogger the other day who said that more than three lines in a row without a picture now, and she can't concentrate any further!
And please do share any tips with me for better concentration and less succumbing to internet and smartphone distractions if you have any...