It's not just you. More and more clients come to me proclaiming themselves ‘self-diagnosed ADHD’.
But do we really have a ‘disorder’ because we can’t focus?
As creatives, we need seclusion and sustained focus above everything to produce quality work. But even we are not immune to having our attention hijacked.
How I ‘forgot’ how to read a book
As a kid, I was an avid reader. I’d return from the bi-weekly trip to the local library with armfuls of novels. (I used most of my parents’ book-borrowing quota in addition to my own.) By the time we were due for another library visit, I’d read all the books cover to cover.
Yet over the last few years, I lost my ability to get lost in a book. Prey to shiny object syndrome, I found myself flicking between the many books on my iPad. Or deciding to look something up on the internet instead.
I still knew how to read. But I had forgotten how to focus my reading.
I’ll probably never return to my childhood level of reading multiple books in a week. But, I'm happy to say, I have re-learned how to read a book from cover to cover.
It took me a few months but the remedy itself was pretty simple:
Choose one book. Read it until the end.
(I allow myself to have one non-fiction AND one fiction on the go at the same time. Other than that, my only exception to the ‘finish’ rule is if I abandon the book altogether as not worth reading. I even have an ‘Abandoned’ shelf on Goodreads.)
So if you’re finding it difficult to focus on making your art - or anything! - know that it isn’t just you.
In this era of digital noise, we can no longer take focus for granted.
Take back control of your focus!
Every year tech companies pump billions into devising ways to kidnap our attention. We literally ‘pay’ it to adverts on social media. That pits us against a lot of smart. So we need to be smarter.
Solving any problem begins with understanding it deeply.
How apps are designed to kidnap our focus
In the podcast, I Want My Attention Back!, Jocelyn K. Glei gets an insider's insight from designer and technologist, Craig Mod, on how apps lure us into “attention slavery”.
He also shares how he regained control over his concentration.
Arm yourself with strategies to overcome distraction
For sound strategies to maintain your focus, read:
And then, forearmed, get back to your work.
Don't let all those billions invested into tech to distract you, pay off for the investors!