Starting right now, at this very moment, you are already losing interest in this. Yep, your brain has the physical capacity to care about something, to focus on it, for only ten fleeting minutes. Sometimes, even less than ten minutes. In fact, zero minutes, if the first few seconds of stimulus meant to capture your attention, failed.
So…Did I fail? Let me try again. Snap Out Of It!!
How does our ten minute attention span relate to getting motivated today? Motivation’s stamina. Have you ever read a book in what felt like a single sitting or watched a movie with your eyes glued to the TV? If the ten minute rule holds true, how did you stay so focused? You were introduced to a new stimulus, new meaning, then given ten following minutes to support the stimulus or meaning.
Today, let’s experiment:
1. What is your goal? Write 1500 words.
2. Is this a fun goal? Depends on what I’m writing, I suppose. How about that scene where they wake up and…
3. Are you allowing the fun goal ten minutes of uninterrupted attention? I rarely get uninterrupted minutes in my day but since I don’t want to not write, I’ll do my best to minimize the odds of interruption.
4. Next, pursue your goal and note when your motivation wanes. How long has that propelling burst lasted? Did a new trigger occur or did your mind wander off and want to check email?
5. How do you feel about your brain’s loss of interest? Are you chastising yourself for only getting through a few lines then once again, staring at the blank page? Stop!! It isn’t your fault!! Your brain gets bored. Instead, make it fun again. For a new ten minutes. Then again, and again until the ten minutes add up to a day of sublime, motivated satisfaction.
Time flies when you are having fun and a bored brain is not having fun. Whether that means the plot I’m trudging through, the revisions I’m staring blankly at or dinner that won’t make itself, if I’m bored, I have zero minutes of stamina. So, today, I’m going to find the fun.