In my experience, managing attention is harder than it seems.
Let's start with something easy … Do nothing for 2 minutes.
Here is a link to a website that will let you try to do that.
Focus can be pretty fragile if it isn't a conscious choice.
OK, Let's Try Something a Little More Challenging.
Controlling your body by doing nothing is one thing; but, controlling your mind is something else altogether.
To get a sense about this, here is a seemingly easy challenge … simply listen to a favorite song.
The challenge is how you can truly do that without losing focus and having other thoughts intrude (for example, without thinking about your to-do list or other songs that you like, or who you're going to meet with later in the day, etc.)? For me, the answer was not that long.
Sometimes it feels like modern life causes attention deficit disorder.
Attention Deficit Can Be Dangerous If You Aren't Aware of It.
Yet, losing focus while trading, in business, or even during a simple conversation – can have serious consequences.
When you are not aware of your focus, I bet it wanders. Mine does; I get distracted easily.
It didn't take long for me to realize that this happened to me while talking to my wife, while listening to a telephone call, even when ordering food at a restaurant. How can I lose focus on the waitress while I was ordering? Apparently, quite easily.
How about you? When you're listening to someone talk to you, are you really listening to them – or are you checking e-mail, texting, browsing a website, watching TV, playing a game, or thinking about what you're going to say?
Be honest with yourself; how often are you fully present? For me, the answer was not nearly enough.
Practice Mind Control.
Try listening to one song with your full attention and focus.
Now, imagine how different a conversation with someone important to you would be if you were consciously aware of your intent for them to experience being heard the whole time they were speaking to you.
Maybe it is easier to recognize how different it is for you when someone is truly present and focused on you when you talk with them?
If you want to explore more activities like this, pick up a copy of Dianne Collins' book "Do You QuantumThink". It has dozens of clever ways to wake back up and operate on a higher level.