Distraction. Sometimes, it’s something we want such as this week when I find myself wanting to be distracted from thinking about 19 children murdered in Uvalde, Texas. Although I wish I had the words to help process what happened in Uvalde, I have none as words feel wholly inadequate.
While I am in search of distraction this week, most of the time, I think of distraction as what keeps me from focusing on what I want to or need to accomplish. Last week, I attended a seminar featuring Curt Steinhorst. Curt is an author and expert on focus at work. In addition to work, I think we can apply his thoughts on focus in every part of our lives. He referred to distraction as that which can confuse us about what matters. All of us are bombarded by emails, texts, calls, social media, and breaking news which are all competing for our attention.
The point that Curt emphasized was that modern technology provides us the opportunity to be much more efficient and effective; however, because we allow ourselves to be distracted constantly, we are less efficient, less productive, and less effective. He asked the group “would you prefer a focused leader or a distracted leader.” I believe there are two types of people; those who realize that they are distracted and those who are so distracted that they don’t realize it. But seriously, everyone is distracted these days and it has an impact.
One solution is to reduce the distractions and moderate the intake of information especially negative news, which is easier said than done. One idea is to turn off notifications that cause your phone to vibrate, beep, or light up every time one of your friends sends you pictures of what they ate for lunch or every time there is breaking news (24/7). When I did this, I found that the number of times I picked up my phone declined considerably. You can actually verify this if you have an iPhone in the settings. You can see your “pickups” which are defined as “the number of times that you have picked up the device to explicitly interact with it.” The less you pick up your phone, the more time you have to focus on what truly brings you joy such as extra hugs for those you love during a week filled with tragedy.
The Lincoln Lawyer (Netflix)
Idealistic lawyer Mickey Haller runs his practice out of the back of his Lincoln Town Car, taking on cases big and small across Los Angeles.