Today we ask that you look at the ways in which you are distracted.

You live in a world in which many people have no ability to focus.

The rise of the internet and smartphones has magnified this problem.

People have lost the ability to focus.  Children grow up unable to focus, and sit still.  How would they learn to do so, when their parents are always running around, multitasking?

Multitasking is an extremely inefficient, poor form of work in which very little actually gets done.

Calm down.  Calm down.  Focus.

A nervous, distracted mind cannot get much done.  You may appear to be very busy, but really, not much is getting done.

To really do anything in this world requires concentrated effort.

This is not the same as “working hard.”

Some people confuse “spending time sitting in front of a computer” with “getting things done.”

You can sit in front of a computer for sixty hours a week, and accomplish very little.

Or you can sit down for one hour of concentrated effort, and do a great deal.

“Concentrated effort” means total focus on the task at hand.

You are not checking email, or Facebook.

You are not browsing the internet, or texting someone.

You are not daydreaming.

You are 100% focused on the task at hand.

A great deal can be done in this way, in little time.

But this requires some training of the mind.  Most minds, these days, find it nearly impossible to totally focus on anything for a length of time.

That is why cultivating meditative practices is useful to you — on a practical level.

The mind that knows how to empty itself, and focus totally on the breath, is a mind that can empty itself and focus totally on a task.  

Learn to meditate.  It is very simple.  Here is one way to do it.

Spend time away from your computer, phone, and TV.

Go outdoors.  Take a walk.  Go to a yoga class.  Get back in your body.

The more you settle your mind, the more you can actually do.

And it is not about “hard work.”

It is about relaxing into a calm, alert state.

There is nothing virtuous about a nervous, distracted, unhappy person forcing himself to sit in front of a computer and grind away at a task.

It is far better for a relaxed, calm, alert person to sit down to a task, work with total focus, take regular breaks to empty out and rest the mind, and stop the moment she feels any sense of mental “grind.”  That is a sign to step away from the task, go calm down, and return when calm is restored. Or else do focused work on another task in which the “grind” is not felt.

There is nothing hard about working in such a way, and a calm, alert person can accomplish in one hour what it might take a nervous, distracted person ten hours or more to do.

Your energy is very precious.  Conserve it, by learning to be calm and stable in your mind.  Then you will get more done, using far less energy.