Stop the Beeps: Start to Focus

Phones ringing. Beeping with tweets. Tweeking with texts. Computers flashing ads. Buses with marketing. Facebook updates like 1000 per minute.

No wonder so many people have trouble focusing. Or feel hyper. Or stressed.  Or anxious. Attention is constantly being pulled in this direction and that. Constantly. Even by other peoples beeps and dings and makarenas. And it’s tiring.

Here are some things that I think will help make the world a more peaceful place to be. And more productive.

  • Turn off the sound on your cell phone. Period.
  • Decide when you are going to check it for messages, rather than responding to it.
  • Decide when you are going to check email, rather than responding to each one that comes in.
  • Decide when you are going to look at facebook, rather than being a compulsive peeker. (That’s what we’re doing, really – peeking into other people’s lives…isn’t it?)
  • Decide how you want to use facebook and other social media, rather than letting it use you.
  • Decide what you want to accomplish today.
  • Decide what you need to do to accomplish it. And how much time.
  • And focus on doing it – keeping all those other things under control – until it’s done.
  • And then still only do all those other things at the appointed time you decided on.

This is no longer a matter of cute. Or fun. People’s brains and nervous systems are being pushed to the edge of stress and anxiety with all the stimulation. Children are losing the ability to relate to one another because they’re used to playing fast-paced-killing-focused video games.

It’s time to be present. To be in our lives. Rather than avoiding our own life by playing games, or watching tv shows or facebook updates about other people’s lives. It’s time to get to know the body, mind and heart we are given. It’s time to talk to the people around us. And if you let it be, that can be fun and playful. No need to give up enjoying life. Quite the contrary. This is the journey to actually experiencing life for real and enjoying it.

Think I’m crazy? Think this isn’t possible? I actually think it’s the only sane way to go. Otherwise we slowly lose our humanity to staring at screens. It’s time for real life. I happen to think the life of humanity and the heart is depending on it. And it starts with me. And you. Right now.