December 18th, 2007

Roman

focus and distractibility

I have always had a degree of distractibility. A kind way of putting it is that I like to multitask, that I need to multitask. I jump from one activity to the next, rarely staying on one for long.

Which isn't to say I can't focus. If I am trying to work something out I often will stay with it for long periods. When I am frustrated I do walk away but I come back later and try again. Lately, though, it seems like my attention span has shortened and my patience wears thin faster.

At coffee yesterday with my friend Dorothy, she mentioned something similar happening to her. She still powers ahead when she needs to learn something, when she needs to get something done, but if it isn't critical it is taking much longer. I loved her example: She bought a waterpik a while ago because her hygeinist recommended it. She took it out of the box and set it on the counter. Her appointments have come and gone and she still has not filled the reservoir with water. She knows it isn't that complicated but she feels a resistance to reading the instructions. She hasn't even plugged it in.

Is it age?