The age of distraction

In case you’ve experienced trouble on focusing because of many distractions around you, don’t worry, you are not alone. And don’t worry, it’s better to have distractions than not having any stimulus at all. The telecom boom is still something to be thankful for, rather than something to condemn. Imagine the old days when we have very limited access just to get to know something or someone. I don’t want to go back to those days.

What I want to go back to is doing some of the old analog things that can balance my life today. Something organic, hand-made, like sketching. Something kinetic like taking photos, where at least I’ll have a walk rather than just sitting. Maybe if I have more spare time in the future I’ll learn music and cooking, the two most ancient forms of art. As for cooking, I may start sooner by compiling my family’s recipes and taking some pictures of the preparing process and the end results… as well as tasting it, of course :-)

Thanks to my friend Gadis who gave me a very good advice, I’ve also started to turn off my phones again at night. It feels like an electronic detox therapy, which would help to overcome Electronic Insomnia Syndrome, restlessness caused by over-radiation from electronic devices. I’m still working on reducing my hours in front of the computer though, but the phone—along with the messenger groups and the timelines—is already a good start. As for my portable computer, I’ve already had it occasionally brought in my backpack for a year or two now, and have replaced it with the traditional plain notebook. I’ve begun to like the smell and the texture of paper again, my backpack becomes a lot lighter, and anytime I get bored of driving I can take the bus or ojek with less worry by having less precious belongings inside my bag.

I think the key to focus is not to blame or get rid of the technology (since it was first invented to make a better living), but to learn to detach from it. It’s pretty much similar with anything. Like food, if we can’t find rice than let’s settle with another carb, or no carb… or even if it’s always available let’s learn to occasionally not taking it. It should make our life lighter, and hopefully healthier.

Illustration from Learning Fundamentals.

In relation to the (e)book Focus: A Simplicity Manifesto In The Age Of Distraction by Leo Babauta, founder of Zen Habits.

For more mind maps, click here.

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