Four Simple Steps to Overcome Attention Overload Disorder

Posted on Mar 27, 2014

asian cute girl texting on meadow“There are just so many places to go, people to see, things to do,” says Ikuko. “It’s all so exciting. I just can’t decide what to do first.”

“There are just so many places to go, people to see, things to do,” says George. “It’s all so important. I just can’t decide what to do first.”

“There are just so many places to go, people to see, things to do,” says Maria. “It’s all such a chore. I just can’t decide what to do first.”

Do you relate to Alice, George or Maria? Different stories, but the same result. Either they end up doing nothing or they do Do DO without ever connecting with what they’re doing. And, though their meanings are different, they end each day wondering why they feel so tired and drained.

Are you:

  • Afraid you’ll miss something if you don’t do it ALL?
  • Reluctant to say NO to people who ask you for help?
  • Compelled to cross things off your list ASAP?
  • Seemingly handcuffed to your computer or tech device?
  • Losing touch with WHY you’re doing it all?

Diagnosing AOD. Attention Overload Disorder.

If you can say yes to more than one of these things, read on to see if this lovely label fits you. (Normally, I don’t like labels, so don’t take it too seriously. But I hope the idea of AOD will switch a light on in the hallways of life.)

Through my lifetime, I’ve witnessed this pattern develop in myself and others. It wasn’t always this way. We used to take time and actually focus on things one at a time. But the technological tools we use today are rewiring our brains. We didn’t see it happening, but we feel the results.

People tell me that it’s changing the specs on being human, as if “That’s just what’s happening. Get over it.” But I’m not buying it. I ask, “Is that the kind of world you want to live in?”

Personally I still feel human enough that I love the experience of life through my senses, though Nature, through deep connection with Life in conscious practice. I feel this way of life is worth protecting. But how?

No matter how advanced we become, the Earth is what keeps us alive. We are not here to dominate it, but to participate in it. When we stray to far from this reality, we get lost. So step back from that device (after you finish reading!) and take this prescription to restore the meaning to your life.

Rx: Remember.

  1. You are not alone. This rodent wheel of AOD is a very lonely place to be. The more you DO, the less space you leave to BE, and the more you disconnect with what you are. Simple. Not easy, but simple. Just look up sometime and see how many people are right there with you. Is that how you want to be?
  2. You are not in control. And you’re not supposed to be. Driven by the fear of missing something, this compulsive experience of grabbing bites of life does not nourish. There are things you can change in life and others you can’t. Knowing the difference is the key to serenity and effectiveness. Whose agenda is more important to you – the content creator’s or yours?
  3. You are human. Human beings are blends. You take a body, combine it with a mind, stir in a heart and add a spirit to make it rise. The quality of your experience begins with the quality of your ingredients, which you’re growing (or neglecting) all the time. When was the last time you felt wildly, prolifically alive? (Check out next week’s blog post for more on this.)
  4. You are here. Start now. I hear it over and over in my work with clients. It’s the black and white thinking of Either/Or. Either the way you want things to be has to show up as a finished product or you stay right where you are. But the road from here to there is lived one step at a time. What’s that step for you right now?
      • Take a five-minute walk.
      • Make a cup of tea.
      • Do one yoga pose.
      • Take one deep breath.
      • Touch one of your plants.

Start with these and add your own. See how easy it is! Life can shift from AOD (Attention Overload Disorder) to SRE (Sensory Rich Experience) in an instant.

Next week, I’ll write more about how to cultivate that experience until you’re positively blossoming!

In the meantime, learn more about how to BE while you’re getting things done, check out Virtual Studio Days. First one’s this Friday.

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