I understand: You focus so you can finish. But focus is hard. We aren’t built for perpetual laser focus that blocks out the world and shines a spotlight on the one vexing problem we want go deep on for hours at a time. It’s physiological.
We’re built to make quick judgements and move on. Attention is expensive and in the world of our ancestors, it could cost dearly. It’s expensive in that your brain is the most energy-intensive organ in your body, consuming half of the sugar your body uses in a day. And not just any of the dozens of sugars our bodies use– only glucose, which it must pull from the bloodstream. Think a lot and your blood sugar drops.
No wonder flexing that mental muscle of yours makes you tired. It’s literally burning up resources.
The other issue is that focus stops you from scanning the horizon, being aware of your surroundings and anticipating threats. Not an awesome habit in the age of mega-mammalians that ate people like snacks; better to be the hunter than the hunted.
When you find yourself:
Frustrated that you can’t focus, struggling to stay on task.
Try this instead:
Notice your distraction. That’s all. Take note.
Then take a breath, and begin again.
Focus isn’t free, nor is it natural. But being present and mindful is. Be present and mindful of yourself. Your thoughts will drift. So what? No one cares. Stop caring. Just notice.