Hello Readers! This post is about writers and exploring how we concentrate on our work. They say “a watched pot never boils”; but I find it will boil if you go write something while you are waiting. Or for that matter, an unwatched pot will surely boil over! Especially if you felt so confident that you returned to the writing surface while waiting. You might find when you return your attention again to the pot, that its content has been boiling freely for the minutes you intended to be closer to eating dinner than you actually are.
Trying to do too many things at one time, or at least in-the-same-day has the opposite effect of efficiency or great accomplishment. Tackling a to-do list sequentially would be fine, but where I get into trouble is attempting the multi-tasking bit. There is much left to be desired in the outcome when attention is split. It might even mean things get checked off the list, but at what cost? Have tasks actually taken longer because the desired result is missed?
It might be OK to do some cooking or walking while listening to an audio book or music. But while watching a movie while simultaneously cooking, or writing, your attention is unable to hold onto the details in either the movie or the task, resulting in a less than satisfying “well-done” feeling. At least this is the case if it’s a ‘good’ movie or one you’ve never seen before. Your simultaneous activity may be intended to be pleasurable, and not just an exercise in calorie burning!
Practicing to focus attention on one thing at a time is a discipline that improves other skills as well – the quality of your listening and your patience are increased. What skills do you fine-tune by focusing your attention on just one thing at a time? Please send me your comments and experiences.