A need for starvation


A need for starvation. Unlike what the title suggest this not going to be an article on how the lack of food could be a good thing. The thing is, there are aspects of life where we need a form of starvation. And one aspect is the distractions we face regularly. However, don’t jump the gun thinking this will be an article on how social media and technology is bringing about the end of focus and productivity! 

We tend to think that we are more distracted then any point in human history thus far. You look around in a public area and see everyone staring at a screen they have in their hands. You are in a conversation and a mobile vibrates causing you or the one you are conversing with, to reach for their phone. But is this any different from seeing everyone reading a newspaper in public years back or the phone or doorbell ringing in the years before mobiles?   

Socially we quickly look at these type of scenarios but the need for starvation of distractions actually arises when we are looking to get a task done. From washing dishes to finishing a report for work, we experience the most distraction when it is time to complete a task. One is quick to think that a distraction is that game on your phone or diving in to the black hole known as YouTube. But in actuality an open task can also be a means of distraction of another task. A distraction could be those books on your shelf or that pen laying on your table. 

We seek to eliminate the various distractions by making them disappear or pre-emptively striking them. But the truth is that in many cases we will find something else to distract us. And yes you read that right, FIND something. The thing is ‘being distracted’ is actually more of a symptom then a cause.

Unconsciously there are various reasons as to why you are seeking out a distraction. Here are a few examples:

  • You could be avoiding the discomfort that comes with the task you are working on.
  • Or you could be suffering from FOMO ( Fear Of Missing Out).
  • The want/need for a feeling of gratification or maybe it has to do with a habit you might have formed.

Thus starving your distractions can only really be accomplished by curing the underlying cause.

It is not all doom and gloom, our ability to be distracted has also been of great evolutionary use. Being distracted by the sounds of that tiger while your picking berries is of great use when it comes to survival. Or being distracted by a potential future mate walking by while you’re in conversation with someone. Being distracted could have various positive effects. Such as bringing about a creative moment or relaxing the mind. And in some cases it also brings about the regulation of our emotions. Knowing the various positive effect and causes for distraction brings about an interesting personal aspect of it for each of and everyone of us, bringing about the following question.

Will you go for total starvation or a little fasting of distractions?