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Focus And Distraction: Two Very Different Things

Posted Dec 29 2008 4:53pm

Just a few minutes ago, I put down the controller to my Wii Fit because I had a very powerful revelation I wanted to share with you. And no, it’s not about video games or having been one of the fortunate ones to find a Wii Fit post-Christmas. Although it’s pretty cool ;-)  I definitely recommend getting one if you can.

But I digress…

One of the “balance” exercises asks you to sit (on the balance board) in a very “Zen-like” state.  You cross your legs, and sit Indian style while focusing on a candle burning on your screen.  The object is to focus on the candle and avoid distractions… I don’t know how it works, but the sensors in this balance board know when your attention shifts, and that you have become distracted.

My first attempt…37 seconds.  Second attempt 65, and then 24 seconds…  Sitting still has never been more difficult…

BUT, that’s NOT the end of the story.  You see, I was trying to pay attention and focus while my 15 month-old son wanted attention.

The Result?

Competing attention…  Difficulty focusing…

What can I say?  My son wanted attention.  He saw Daddy sitting on the floor, and thought it would be fun to climb all over me.  Does that mean I was distracted?  Does it mean that I can’t focus and pay attention?

Or is this just another example of the many competing tasks we all face today.  Instead of thinking that you struggle with focus and attention, perhaps we need to ask more questions:

  • What are we being asked to accomplish?
  • Under what circumstances is this demand?
  • Is the timing right?
  • Are our actions reasonable at the present time?

There are beliefs that we all struggle with attention, focus, and distraction from time to time.  Those people with ADHD are suspected of having a difficult time more often than not.  Maybe it’s true…  Or maybe we need very specific circumstances under which we can flourish.

Either way — this got me thinking this morning!

What Do You Think?

We’d love to hear from you. Go ahead and give us your thoughts in the comments below.

PS - Have you gotten your ADHD Essentials Audio Kit yet? Sign Up Today, it’s FREE

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