Escaping, and Embracing, the Attractor

So you’re sitting down, iPad on your lap, and start cranking out words for the Very Important Project you’re supposed to work on. Then, a thought popcorns up, attracting your focus, and distracting it from what know you should be doing. So you force yourself back on track, knowing that the more you force yourself away from the distractor the more powerful it will attract you again later. (Ever played Osmos? Try it.)

I was sitting with a client in a small café in Berlin today, talking about his new project. Then, this Very Attractive Person walked in. Within a split-second, I thought, wait, what? — — — Thoughts were, poof, gone for several seconds. My client grinned and asked, “should we pause for a minute or two so you can get a better view?” It took me a couple of minutes to regain focus, and I recuperated only after this attractor had left the café.

When attractors and distractors play their dirty little games with your mind, it’s easy to mistake one for the other. Is the new thought a distractor or a new attractor in disguise that needs to be explored right now? What would happen if you followed the distractor all the way down to the rabbit hole?

Actually, trying to flee or repel the new attractor is the first step into the rabbit hole of losing focus altogether. Most of the time, try to embrace the distracting thought, and it will vanish on its own – or become part of your story.