I was about two-thirds of the way back in my class when the teacher asked me a question. It came at the end of a lengthy lecture that had lost my attention sometime back. I don’t know what I was thinking about but it was nothing having to do with her lecture. She looked at me and said, “So what is your answer?” I had nothing to say. She knew I was not paying attention. There has never been a time in the history of humankind that we had had more distractions than we have now. Whether it is the internet, smart phones, laptops, sports, television or ____________. You fill in the blank. We find ourselves doing more than one thing at a time. And we do this all of the time. Studies have shown that multi-tasking is no more than shifting attention from one thing to another. We are not actually doing all of those things at the same time. We don’t give any of them our full attention but try to balance all of them simultaneously while doing none of them well. We do this with projects, tasks and people. We are not fully present our interactions to connect the way we need to. We think about “the next task” instead of focusing on what is right in front of our eyes. The tragedy is that many of the things before our eyes are people. They are there to connect with YOU. Try this…
If it is a person then make eye contact and disregard what is around you.
Give your attention completely to what is before you.
You will get better at your tasks, projects and your relationships. Who knows, your spouse might just enjoy talking to you again.