Paying Attention to Buy Some Time

Oddly enough, while reading and listening to three articles and lectures on the topic of attention, my focus began to wander. This did not occur because I lacked interest in the material, but rather because these beguiling resources, including Howard Rheingold’s “Attention Literacy“, Linda Stone’s “Attention: The Real Aphrodisiac“, and NPR Talk of the Nation’s lecture  “Bad at Multitasking? Blame Your Brain,” incited varying degrees of transient contemplation and set my mind ablaze with questions and commentary.

My gaze never shifted to the phone or clock, though at one point I really wanted to know how much longer I was going be subjected to the delirious and paranoid questions of the general NPR audience, and I was not concerned with the dealings of Twitter or Facebook. Instead of submitting to a social networking addiction, I forced the focus and tried to keep from straying away from the voices of the speakers, or even writing this post to document my stream of thought. I did not have any distractions other than my own contemplation during these articles. I was really able to be fully engaged in this information at 2:48 am, especially after enjoying a three hour nap and knowing I have nothing due during my first class in the morning. There is a certain kind of calm in my apartment building tonight and no external noise to snap me out of my reading trance. I yearn for Thursday and Friday nights during the bulk of the week because I’m definitely not a person who can function at the center of noise, clutter and excess. So I’ve made sure to eliminate all distractions, wrap up in a puffy blanket, and enjoy the serenity of a warm home, the fresh pear that is calling to me from the kitchen, and fully absorbing the new ideas that are emitting from my computer.

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One response to “Paying Attention to Buy Some Time

  1. Rachael Sullivan

    great post. you describe your setting beautifully. It’s interesting that the questions that the article/podcasts raised for you were the primary distractions you experienced. Your state of mind – being rested, quiet, prepared for the next day – seems like it had a lot to do with your focus.

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