Continuous partial attention

The lack of ability to focus does not only impact our work lives of course.

Many of us today are living (and working) in a state of continuous partial attention. Instead of giving our attention to the one thing that’s most important right now, our attention is effectively in radar mode — we are constantly scanning our environments for "the best opportunities, activities, and contacts, in any given moment," as Linda Stone of The Attention Project describes it.

And switching from task to task and scanning our environment can be exhausting and stressful.

And there is also something bigger at stake here …

Our attention is the conduit that connects us to our life and work, to what’s happening in this moment. It allows us to witness our own lives, so to speak.

And when our attention is divided — whether by multitasking, by falling into this state of continuous partial attention, or by simple distractions — our connection with our world is weakened, meaning that we get less of the world and the world gets less of us.

We are missing being alive and present in our own lives.

When our attention is focused, on the other hand, we see what’s going on this moment more clearly and we experience it more vividly.

Switching from continuous partial attention to full attention allows to be fully present and actually experience living our lives WHILE we are living it.


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