Monday, October 6, 2014

Staying an adult

There's an app now to help you talk to know, on your phone.

But, I'm not being fair, so let's start again.

I use my phone to call people, text funny pictures of my son and beat relatives at Words With Friends. I am well aware that I have not unlocked the true potential of my smartphone.

Then I read about Talko, which is the new app that combines voice messages, texting, video conferencing and more across multiple users. You can have a conversation with someone, invite some other people to it, pick up the thread of the full conversation later and even see if someone is stationary or on the move so they can join you. It mixes the present and the past conversation together to create one long-running thread.

And that hurts my head. So clearly I have some evolving to do.

Or maybe not.

I watch my son play and I am so proud of the way he is able to focus on activities. He plays with his Lego bricks intently, then cleans them up and moves on to trucks and construction toys. When he is done with that, he clears everything away before sitting down to draw me a picture. That ability to focus seems to precious to me.

Especially as I am slowly losing the ability to focus. Sure, I can make it through the "Dare you to watch this entire video" challenge and read through various long parent studies every week, but I find that my attention escapes me more often than I would like.

So, to work on ways to improve my own ability to focus, I'm taking notes from the way my son plays:
  1. One activity at a time. I don't care if the laundry buzzes. I am going to finish this blog post before I get up to switch it over.
  2. No phone nearby. My son doesn't have a phone to constantly ignore. Mine goes in another room when I am working on something else.
  3. Set time limits. I don't want to fall down the rabbit hole of online searches, so I set a time limit for myself to complete an activity. (Like in my beat the clock game.)
  4. Notify others. If you tell others what you are working on and when you will be available, they will be (hopefully) less likely to interrupt you.
So far, so good. (I made it through this post after all.)

What are your tips for teaching your child (or yourself) to focus? Share them with me in the comments.

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