Argentine novelist Julio Cortázar knew that focus is just one tool in the box. Knowing when “distraction” isn’t what it seems may reveal truths about yourself and the direction your work should be going. Embracing the “other” consciousness that taps against your focus bubble can expand possibility and solve problems.
“All profound distraction opens certain doors. You have to allow yourself to be distracted when you are unable to concentrate.”
— Julio Cortázar
The trick is in knowing the difference between a useful, creative tangent and something that is simply an excuse for procrastination. You may have to go with your gut on that — but with practice, you’ll get better at recognizing which is which.
- This April article from Lifehacker (one of our favorites) takes an out-of-the-ordinary view of the role of distraction: “Why You Need Boredom, Distraction and Procrastination in Your Life“
- When is a distraction simply that? If focus (rather than tunnel vision) is your problem, this article may help you get back on track with a simple, rather nostalgic strategy: “3 Ways Doodling Will Help Your Focus and Creativity“
- Don’t doodle? Try coloring for a few minutes — it’s the latest craze for “colorful” adults (this means you). One of our favorite big-people coloring books: Balance by Angie Grace
The celebrated author of Flow and the man who made the world value choral music in a new way speaks in this book about the very nature of the creative spirit. Better than erudite, it’s a good read.