Saturday, February 25, 2017

Having a short attention span can be a good thing.

Even though I'm a somewhat patient and a persistent person, I have to admit that there are times when I tend to get frustrated. Sometimes it's just really difficult to pay attention to things that aren't interesting or that don't make enough sense.

Whether we're talking about writing something, reading an article or a book,  listening to a podcast or watching an episode of a tv series, I tend to lose my focus fairly easily. If there's no reason to continue and to keep paying attention, I'll move on to something else.

The reason I'm writing about this is because even though everyone talks about the importance of being able to focus and about the ability to concentrate on things, sometimes having a short attention span can actually be a good thing.

For example, when it comes to writing, a very big part of it has to do with rewriting and trying to make your script better. This rewriting process is about having the ability to take a fresh new look at what you've managed to write - over and over again.

In essense, being good at rewriting is almost all about clearing your mind and about you getting a new pair of eyes. It's almost all about getting that new perspective and being able to look objectively at what you've written before.

Once you start rewriting and once you take that fresh look at your material, you should have the ability to see where you went wrong. You should be able to figure out what are the things that don't work and what you could do better.
The truth is that the faster you're able to reset your mind, the faster you'll also be able to make corrections and adjustments to your material. This way you'll be able to notice that you're not making sense and that you have to change things.

If you're not able to see the forest for the trees and if you're not able to get out of your bubble, things aren't going to work out. It's not good if you get too focused and don't notice that you took the wrong route and lost the plot hours ago.

Of course, when it comes to having a short attention span, I'm not saying that it's okay to not pay attention to things and that you don't have to be focused. I'm not saying that you don't have to put in the effort and that writing good stuff is easy.

On the contrary, all of us who care about writing quality material have to be willing to work hard and to be able to concentrate on our tasks. We all have to be willing to spend a lot of time writing before things are going to work.

At the same time, there are clearly times when you just wish that you had figured earlier that you were wrong. You just wish that you would have noticed earlier that you spent most of the day writing stuff that didn't make enough sense.

In these cases, it probably would have helped if you had gotten some fresh new perspective earlier. A shorter attention span and doing something else might have gotten you on the correct path earlier and would have made your task at least a little bit easier.

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