How to feel focus

A shift from distraction to focus allows you to do what matters.

Superpowers used: idling, introspection, creativity, sound

Other superpowers may be used as well. View all powers to shift states here.

How to Shift from Distraction to Focus

Our complex survival mechanisms have helped us become the dominant species on Earth.

But in the modern world, they're the source of many problems.

When life was more dangerous – before houses, weather prediction, guns, cities – humans faced threats on a daily basis.

To be prepared, we had to be highly attuned to anything out of the ordinary. And since our brains can't possibly process every single bit of information in the environment, it must choose what to focus on.

The moment something appears as a potential threat, something we weren't anticipating, or a possible reward, we dedicate our attention to it to ensure our wellbeing.

The scary thing is, it's not conscious but an automatic reaction.

Becoming conscious of a threat and then deciding what to do could take too long and the threat could kill us. Instead, our attention goes directly there without our having to do, or think anything.

It's highly effective. If we were walking through a field 50,000 years ago and saw something move in the distance, we could easily detect it no matter what else we were doing. We wouldn't think about it – it would just happen.

Now we live in a world where corporations are spending billions of dollars to hack these survival mechanisms and gain our attention.

The internet, our phones, television, magazines, billboards, movies, video games – they're all extremely complex attention extractors built to hijack us to focus on what they want to say.

Our minds, still functioning under ancient survival mechanisms, jump from one distraction to another without conscious awareness.

Since our brains have the remarkable ability to change, we're discovering incessant distractions are actually rewiring our brains – so even after eliminating them, we can still have difficulties focusing.

Don't worry, you can reclaim your ability to focus. After all, millions of years of evolution is on your side.

Power of Idling

Superpower Description:

Perhaps the most underrated superpower humans have is the simple act of being at peace and doing nothing.

Where laziness is the act of neglecting something that should be done, intentional idling is purposefully doing nothing because it's productive.

Idling provides a safe space for the subconscious to come out of hiding, worries to relax, and the brain to make new connections where a novel perspective of reality may be formed.

Intentionally carve out space for nothing and you'll see how powerful it really is.

Use Idling to Shift from Distraction

There really isn't a word in the English language describing the concept of intentionally doing nothing.

'Idling' was the best I found: spending time doing nothing. Perhaps, intentional idling is the best way of describing it.

It's important to draw the distinction between laziness and intentionally idling. Laziness is choosing not to do something when you know you should. Idling is choosing to do nothing because you know it's productive.

It's not putting something off that needs to be done. Rather, it's doing nothing on purpose knowing it needs to be done.

For hundreds of thousdands of years, humans enjoyed ample amounts of leisure time. Without many distractions, or language, hours were spent doing nothing.

This wasn't an accident. Having quiet, undistracted time to be with one's self allowed the body and mind to relax. Over long periods of time, this became part of the human experience. And it's all but absent in today's world.

Intentional idling has recently made a comeback with the explosion of meditation. But where meditation is the act of sitting to focus on one thing (or nothing), intentionally idling can take on many forms.

Now, I'm aware that I can't necessarily tell you how to DO nothing – even when we are sleeping we are doing something. But the goal is to carve out space in your day for intentionally idling.

Think of these activities as containers – not goals – to hold the space for purposefully doing nothing.

For example, if you decide to go for a walk, the walk isn't the goal. It's simply the tool you're using to reach the goal of intentionally idling.

The goal in and of itself is to experience a sense of doing nothing on purpose. Here are some containers to hold the space to get you there.


Take a nap.

Doodle / Sketch.

Simply be bored.

Stare at the stars.

Lay in the grass & think.

Wander without a destination.

Float in a sensory deprivation tank.

Sit on the floor and see what happens.

Stream of consciousness journal without censorship.

The art of doing nothing is hard when you're used to trying to always do everything.

You must learn to be patient and remember that to change how your brain is wired takes time.

But by continuously making the space to intentionally idle – and actively try to do nothing – the more control you'll have over your life and the more productive you will be.

Power of Introspection

Superpower Description:

Having the awareness and understanding of our own thought processes is a gift. By thinking about thinking, we can better plan, monitor, and assess understanding, performance, and what we truly desire.

This gives us the freedom to curate our lives instead of always reacting to it.

Unfortunately, our fast paced, overstimulated world has numbed this superpower, but it's one of our greatest tools in being able to shift into a state we authentically desire.

Use Introspection to Shift from Distraction

Humans have a superpower perhaps no other creature has: introspection.

By being able to think about our thoughts, feelings, and behavior, we can zoom out from patterned ways of being and consider whether it's what we actually want to be doing.

For hundreds of thousands of years, humans didn't have this ability – they simply acted out of instinct. Now that we do, we're so distracted by external things we forget the power of going internal.

Reclaim control over your life by using the power of introspection to determine what's important to you, what you want to be doing, and how to take action to get there.

Regain power over your time instead of it being taken from you by the incessant distractions of the modern world.

Write out your goals.

Go 'in' to identify patterns and consider ways to improve them.

Consider your relationships: are they serving or distracting you?

Return to the present moment remembering it's the only time that matters.

Create a vision of where you want to go & the actions you need to take to get there.

Develop a digital wellness plan so technology can serve you instead of you serving it.

Make a list of what's most important to you – are you spending time involved with those things?

Ask yourself: are you intentionally distracting yourself because there's something you're avoiding?

Distraction is everywhere in the modern world and introspection is one of the best ways to return to focus.

It puts power back in your hands so you can decide where to put your attention instead of it being decided for you.

Power of Creativity

Superpower Description:

Essential to the human experience, creativity encourages problem solving, provides meaning, connects us to something beyond ourselves, and helps transform 'what is' into 'what could be.'

It enables us to extract the wisdom of the subconscious, alchemize it to the conscious, and then create something beautiful.

Use Creativity to Shift from Distraction

Creativity is defined as: the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others.

Sounds like a pretty valuable tool if you're feeling distracted, right?

Creativity isn't reserved artists or musicians – it's universal to everyone. And when used in the right way, it can immediately shift us into a state of focus.

How? By bringing us directly into the present moment where we're not concerned about the past or future.

We cease caring about how many likes our Instagram post got or what's trending on Reddit.

Instead, we focus on exactly what we're doing and put all of our attention there. And in the age of distraction, this is a powerful tool.

Creativity comes in many forms, each of us relating to it a little bit differently.

Connect with it to stop feeling distracted.

Write in a journal.

Paint, draw, doodle.

Fuse ideas together.

Play a musical instrument.

Take a craft or pottery class.

Work on a project in a new way.

Become a beginner at something.

Make a vision board of things you want.

Cook something you've never made before.

Try a new exercise class or move your body in a new way.

Disrupt your daily routine & drive a different route to work.

Think about yourself or your thoughts from a different perspective.

Whatever you choose, when you immerse yourself in creativity you won't be able to feel distracted.

All of your attention will be focused on what you're doing and it will free you from the prison of our distracting culture.

Shift States to feel:

Miles Rote

Your environment produces you.
So become the director.