Our senses and minds work non-stop.
They get trained through what we do and don’t do. This training is often unconscious.
In current times, the most common unconscious training we do is the ‘training in distraction’.
As we swipe from one screen to another, we train our minds to stay distracted for 6-7, even 10 hours.
It is rare for us to stick to one thing for more than 20-30 minutes without looking at a screen, or without opening a new tab.
When we are busy, we move from tab to tab, app to app, and screen to screen. We do the same when we are free. This confuses the mind as it does not notice any difference between work and leisure hours.
In such a situation, the mind does not know when to switch on or off. That is why we find it hard to focus when we need to do important work, and hard to switch off when we should be sleeping.
Creators of social apps and mobile apps engage big teams and spend billions of dollars to keep us on and inside. So, getting out of this unconscious distraction training loop is not easy.
But it is not impossible. The only solution is to switch off for a small duration and practice focus. You can meditate. Or, you can practice doing one thing for 5 or 10 minutes without opening a new tab or fiddling with your phone.
5-10 minutes may look small when pitted against hours of unconscious training in distraction. But it’s a start. If you practice every day and increase practice time, slowly you will make a dent.
Remember this is not a practice for becoming a monk but to keep us from losing our edge and for becoming an effective human.
Do you want to be one?