Sunday, March 27, 2011

Singularly Focused

Crash, Boom, Screech, WAAAAAAH!, may not be as a typical distraction as background noise. “So did you hear what Sandy did last night? Can you believe she said/did that?”

Things like slow internet, [which can be easily be resolved with Wireless Internet] will stop your speed and raise your ire. Everyday creaks or buzzes, each with their own dire stories, suddenly become very intriguing. All vie for your attention in the same manner. Especially when you are working on a pressing project. Distractions will seemingly come out of the woodwork. Never fear. Whatever is distracting you from your duties at hand may be combated with intention.

Intention can be defined as “to have in mind a purpose or plan, to direct the mind, to aim.” When we have in mind a purpose or plan, it becomes easier to direct our thoughts to fit our ultimate aim. It is very similar to what is called Mental Toughness, though one yoga teacher prefers the term “mental suppleness.”

1. Create your intention.
Find your inspiration, and realize that it comes more from the heart than the head. Once you have created your intention, you take steps to prepare for it. I do a lot of work online, so I know I need a reliable internet connection, so I prepare for it, using Wireless Internet.

2. Use doubt as a tool. Realize that the reality may not match your intention. Bring your focus back to what is going on. Plan for the task, but realize that you are planning for a trip you’ve never been on before.

3. Detach from the outcome.
While it’s important to acknowledge an ultimate goal, it’s important to focus in on the process.

When you are interested in a project, distraction is rarely a problem. Intention can often override interest. When you are performing the tedium, the mundane, distractions are more likely to hijack your attention. Intentions are like momentary goals that will get you through the project.

Distractions and disruptions are inevitable. Accepting the distractions, being thankful for the awareness of them will make it easier to go back to what you were working on.

Realize that not all distractions are bad. A distraction used in the right way can reframe a concept in a way you hadn’t thought of before; taking you down a path you ordinarily might have ignored, a path which might give an insight you wouldn’t have considered, thus guiding you more smoothly to your ultimate goal.

You can eliminate all foreseeable distractions beforehand. For instance, we can combat slow internet by switching to Wireless Internet, among other preparations. But even when you have all of that under control, there is the matter of your own wandering mind. How do you focus? You intentionally bring your mind back after any diversions; as many times as you need to.

c. 2011