Friday, May 30, 2008

Pay Attention

"Look, I get it; you come home, you work hard, and you turn on your TV... You kind of want to escape a little bit and be taken away by something. Our show required you to pay attention, and if that's not what you wanted to do, then it wasn't going to be for you, and that's OK."

~Will Arnett

How well do you pay attention?
How do you know if you aren't paying good enough attention, if you aren't paying attention to your attention span long enough to know? You know?

I find myself more and more distracted lately. So many deadlines, so many important things, so many fun things--all of them seem to demand my attention. There is a limit to how much I can do in a given unit of time, and generally I will get diminishing quality the more I try to pack into each of those units. Why is it so hard to stay focused on the priority? I have X to get done by the end of today. I A, B, and C which are due some other time. Why do I let the completion and execution of X be muddled by A, B, and C even though they aren't required at the moment?

Its more basic than a work list, though. Its every day life objects. I need to do a certain number of things every day, and mostly I can complete these things on auto-pilot. However, I have a certain number of things I want or need to do each day on top of that daily list, and these things require much prioritization. There are people and things I have to take care of which require attention. But maybe there is a finite amount of attention that can be given?

Additionally, how much can I really accomplish WELL if I am not fully immersed in it. I believe I surely can't get the most out of my life this way. Perhaps its another side-effect of graduate school...maybe its getting older. I don't know.

For now, enjoy this. But pay attention.

Awareness Test

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