I was busying myself working on a project when two otherwise unrelated ideas fused together in my brain. I had been reading about and practicing with the auto-focus settings on my camera and I started trying to think back on why I had put my camera in the mode that it was in. Typically, I use the auto-focus setting of “One Shot” with 1 focus point selected instead of all 61 points my camera is capable of. Before I made this change, I would get so frustrated when my camera, being the smart and useful tool that it is, thought it always knew where I wanted the focus to be set. Clearly, it could not read my mind. I would focus on the subject I wanted, press the shutter halfway and try to recompose my shot when my camera would automatically re-focus again! It was maddening. There was this constant epic battle between my mind and my equipment with the whir of the lens focusing in and out being the musical score that played in the background.
It occurred to me that day, thinking back on why I’d set up my camera this way, that it was a perfect metaphor for my attention span. I am quite easily distracted, especially when the task I’m trying to accomplish requires more in-depth thinking. For example, I have literally stopped and started this blog post no less than 12 times today. The logical side of me wants to stay on task! – get it done! -because it knows what I want to focus on. But there’s this other side of me that sees something shiny in my peripheral vision and follows it down the rabbit hole only to see something else and get further away from what I meant to accomplish. A constant whir and push and pull of concentration.
With my camera, I’ve managed to get my settings straight to avoid some of the frustration, but with my life? I’m still tweaking the buttons and knobs, trying to find the right configuration. Some days, it means setting a timer to challenge myself. Other days, it means closing down email and the other necessary applications that sing to me like a siren’s melody. I’m committed to trying new approaches to see what might help me stay on task. Do you have any tricks up your sleeve that might help me?
Constantly refocusing – Angie