Friday, July 24, 2009

Depleted attention


So i just started a new engagement at work.  It's pretty challenging adjusting to a new one and the first week is usually spent working pretty constantly trying to catch up with what's going on (especially when you're not familiar with industry / function).


This is all context for my behavior during this time - pretty meh if i do say so myself.  Not really thinking about anybody else, not really trying to be kind, helpful, generous, etc - just trying to get through the day.  My cousin has told me this could be because of my attention being depleted through being in a high stress situation.  Attention is apparently a muscle, and like all other muscles, can be built up and can be depleted. 


I notice this in myself all the time, i call it being frazzled :)  when my attention is depleted, the hair trigger approaches - smaller things set me off, I'm less able to keep the big picture in mind, less able to think about others.


Also good to know that meditation is a major BUILDER of attention (along with exercise, etc) - think I'll go sit!


Viral said...

interesting reflection -- and great conclusion! :-)


livemoments said...

In "Rapt", Winifred Gallagher says that we have a finite amount of attention to spend in our lifetime and in a very real/neurological way, where we choose to "spend" that attention is what determines our experience of life.

Many of us fret about losing our train of thought. "Life," she says, "is the sum of what you focus on." In "Rapt," she concentrates on what science has to tell us about the mind's capacities for paying attention.

Some people, she explains, are badly prone to distraction and need to be treated for attention deficit disorder. Others, like increasing numbers of us multitaskers, are merely plagued by bad habits and technology overload, darting from one mental activity to the next. So what can we do to recover the sustained focus that fosters creativity and quality?