Attention Please


It has come to my attention that… that’s a nice knot in the table. Fetching, arty almost. I think I’ll make a cup of tea.

It has come to my attention that I have the attention span of a small child that has been thrust into a ball pond filled with toy lions to hug and Lego bricks to put into its mouth.

I am not alone, you’re probably just as bad. As a collective we are becoming less and less focused at an alarming rate, distracted by each and every little thing that pops into our mind (or line of sight) at any given moment.

Twitter, Facebook, you name it. Email, text messages, phone calls, they keep coming. Even the need to constantly be up to date with the news, with your favourite television shows, with your closely followed blogs. They’re all distracting as can be.


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I’ve started on my way to cutting as many of these distracting elements out of my life. Not one by one, but as many as I can, as quickly as I can. I’ve got stuff to do! The world waits for nobody.

As my own antidote to relieve us of our lack of collective focus, from now on my posts are going to shorter, and more frequent. I will still be writing up essay-type reports from time to time, but on the whole I’m going to keep things short and to the point. I’m sure many of you who have been reading my blog for a while will have had times when you saw I’ve written something new, clicked on it, seen the length of it and thought “Maybe I’ll give this one a miss.” I don’t blame you, I do it all the time with other people’s work. We’ve all got stuff to do! We’re all as busy as can be.

Let’s regain our attention together. ∎


Benjamin Spall is the co-author of My Morning Routine (Portfolio/Penguin). He has written for outlets including the New York Times, New York Observer, Quartz, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, CNBC, and more.