"Attention is currency of performance." - Peter Haberl
How many times do we get distracted throughout our day? There is an incredible amount of stimuli that is constantly pulling our attention away from where we want it to be. Social media, TV, emails, deadlines, our thoughts, emotions, to-do lists...the list goes on and on and on. So, how long is the average American's attention span? The answer is eight seconds. Eight measly seconds is how long it takes before we are off somewhere else with our attention. The amount of times we are told or think to ourselves to pay attention, focus, concentrate, stop daydreaming, or wake up is too many to count. We may feel defeated or blame it on the times and technology.
Despite how often we are distracted and how many times our attention is pulled away from where we want it to be, there is something we can do about it! The skill of holding our attention where we want it to be and sustaining that attention is trainable. The question is, how do we do it? It starts out by choosing a target and trying to focus our attention on that target. What will inevitably happen is that your mind will wander off and want to be somewhere else: somewhere more exciting, somewhere you can plan your to-do list, somewhere you can relive memories, or somewhere you can create a story about your future. This is normal. Whenever your mind goes somewhere else, try to catch yourself, and then, bring it back to your target.
Our mental training for this week is simply to use your breath as a target and hold our attention on the breath for one minute. Every time your mind wanders, make a little mark with your pen and paper, and then, bring your attention back to the breath.