Are You “Addicted to Distraction”?

My sister once wrote a blog post that inspired me to sum up my New Years goals or resolutions in one word. My word for 2016: FOCUS.

I don’t think I’ve ever found it as difficult to focus as I have in the last months of this year. So many pleasurable activities have been calling out for my attention. In no particular order:

  • planning and writing of a first draft of an adult novel
  • doing assignments for my online photography class
  • practising all I learned in my class about capturing and editing photos
  • preparing to narrate the most challenging book I’ve ever read as a CNIB volunteer
  • writing and assembling photos for a book for my 3-year-old grandson, adopted into our family this year
  • attending yoga classes
  • spending time with family and friends
  • reading satisfying books and thought-provoking articles
  • walking the dog
  • writing blog posts
  • working on a new picture book manuscript (not the one referred to in my last post)

Of course I’ve also been:

  • taking care of other work-related business
  • fulfilling my share of household responsibilities
  • keeping up with emails
  • showing up on Facebook and Twitter once in a while, often, admittedly, for longer than I intend being there

As I began describing for this post how I intend to take a “bird by bird” approach to achieving better FOCUS in 2016, I recalled an article I’d saved to Pocket, to read when I “had time”. It’s called “Addicted to Distraction”. Distractable (as I often am), I took time away from writing this post to read it.

Are you “addicted to distraction”?

According to the author of the article, Tony Schwartz, I’m on the right track with my one-step-at-a-time approach.

But look at how many links are embedded in this post. The internet has taught me to do that. How many links did you click on as you read what I wrote? The internet has taught you to do that, too.

I’m not about to villify the internet. Neither does Tony Schwartz. But he does offer some pretty startling thoughts and sobering recommendations for anyone brave enough to consider them.

If you haven’t already clicked the earlier link to the article, I urge you to read it now.

Best wishes to all my readers for a Happy FOCUSed New Year.

Illustration by agsandrew / depositphotos

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Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.

Kathy Stinson

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