Focus on the Distractions :: Daily Grind #160

If I had a dollar for every time I got distracted, I wish I had a puppy.
— Anonymous


Most likely it's a phone. But it could also just as likely be the TV. Or a pair of headphones. Music is hard to turn off. Maybe an iPad or a Surface Pro. Could be a laptop. Or maybe old school. An iPod. Or really, really old school; a pen, pencil or marker and some sketch paper. A notepad maybe. Making lists in our heads or on an app. Have kids? Maybe it's some Legos. Candy is a big one; especially now with Halloween barely in the rearview. Kids are like cats. Doesn't take much at all. Could be a bag tie or even the random crumbled piece of a barbeque chip. How much you wanna bet they eat it? In the car, no kid can resist the all-powerful switches on the car door that MUST be flicked. And flicked repeatedly. Door switches are the gateway drug for kids. That's why fidget spinners became uber popular for ten minutes. Kids were like, "Oooh...something I can flick without getting yelled at".

For adults though, it's usually a phone in the hand, or conversation from an hour ago or yesterday replaying in their heads. Or they've decided to rehearse the next thing they're gonna say if you'd ever shut up. Clever devils. You can see the moment it happens. The very second you see the short circuit happen and you lose them. It's in the eyes. If you pay attention. Really close attention, you'll see it. The eyes will dart and dance like an animal caught in the high beams in the middle of the road; desperately looking for a way out. They can't just run away though. That would be TOO rude. So, instead, they grab their phone and start saying, "Uh-huh" and nodding a lot.

I'm talking about the distractions of every day life and how it's nearly impossible these days to hold anyone's attention for longer than a few seconds. I'm not sure when everyone lost the ability to only focus on one thing at a time, but it's an epidemic and I really don't think it's ever going to get better. There are just too many things within arms reach and let's face it...we just aren't as interesting as whats going on in THE REST OF THE WORLD. Do me a favor today though. Humor me. Try. Both ways. Try to pay attention as you speak to your co-workers or friends or your family or the people at the voting centers. Give them your full undivided attention and see what happens. Will they reciprocate? Maybe feel uncomfortable. Maybe bloom like a rose. And also, go the other way if you lose them. Watch their eyes and their hands. See if you can pinpoint what you did wrong to make them start tapping that pencil or humming a song under their breath. Ask yourself why. "How can I be better at holding up my end of these unspoken social contracts?" "Am I part of the problem here?" After all, what's that saying? A single journey starts with a single step. Or maybe it was the one about being part of the solution not part of the problem. Hang on....I'll Google it. Be right bac-

9 Distractingly Good Things Today

Distracted Walker Laws - Distracted walkers are becoming more and more of a problem across North America and now lawmakers are passing laws for the criminally preoccupied. 

Chapter & Verse - New book releases today include titles from Anne Perry, Jeff Kinney, Lee Child, Alexander McCall Smith, Donna Brazile, Pete Souza, Mark Hasara, Dan Rather, Alec Baldwin, Reza Aslan, Karen Kingsbury and JK Rowling

Mental Yoga - Can virtual reality change minds on core social issues? 

Song O' The Day - Beck's "No Distraction" from his new album Colors:

Mesmerized and Randomized - A company in San Francisco helps keep the internet secure by utilizing a wall of Lava Lamps:

Stripped Clean - Watch an oil painting instantly lose 200 years of grimy varnish:

I'm Not Ordering the Wienerschnitzel - A restaurant in Paris doesn't require a jacket...or shirt...or pants...