Yesterday morning my youngest daughter asked me if we could sit and have breakfast together. It was an unusual request, but I was delighted.
As we sat chatting, a message came in on my phone. and I automatically read the message. Glancing up from my phone, I saw a pan soaking from the night before and, without thinking, I got up to wash it then proceeded to put the milk away, and began to tidy up the kitchen.
Suddenly I realized that my focus was supposed to have been spending time with my daughter. Just seconds before I’d been seated across from her listening. But, once I was distracted by the phone, sequential distractions completely stripped away my attention..
We live in a world where we are very connected to each other, via internet, cell phones, skype, etc.. Unfortunately, I do not believe we are very connected with each other.
Constant access to other people and events, can make concentrating on our AM ( activity of the moment) or pm ( person of the moment) challenging. Like a pin ball, we are bounced from one bright light to the next. It is unnatural and unhealthy both for us, and for our relationships.
In his book “Brain Rules” John Medina talks about our minds not being made to multi task. When multi-tasking, we perform all tasks at a much lower level of proficiency simply because our brains are built to concentrate on one task at a time. Example: while typing this, if I check my cell phone, it takes a moment for me to re focus my attention back to my writing.
Liken multi-tasking to attempting to throw one dart at two separate bulleyes. It can’t be done.
In our society, it is almost natural to have a conversation with someone, while they text a conversation with another person elsewhere. It is common to see a person go through a check out line, talking on the cell phone while they communicate their purchase with a salesclerk.
It’s sad, really.
Sad that a bell or light blinking on our phone can grab out attention away from a real human being.
Once I caught myself, I left my phone in my purse and sat down again with my daughter. I watched her expressions while she talked. I heard the nuances in her voice and listened to the words she chose to use. She is a beautiful, funny, intelligent young woman. Because I gave her my full attention, I was blessed with the energy from her presence,.
Whatever the blinking light on your cell phone offers, I guarantee it will pale in comparison to the life force of a living, breathing person before you.
Give your full attention to your person of the moment because in these encounters we find our best life.