Many years ago when I was younger I had a clarity of thought and an ability to focus for a very long time without distraction. These days it is very difficult to avoid getting distracted. The ability to focus on a singular thing for long enough to really dig into it is a real skill of the mind that I’d like to work on getting back.
Meditation is the practice that enables you to train your mind. For the past couple of weeks I have been finding time in the day to do some meditation. Generally I work myself through a self-hypnosis routine of focusing on relaxing every muscle in the body individually. Everyone’s experience with this is probably very different but the interesting thing for me is just how difficult it is to focus for even 1 minute without my mind going off on a tangent thought.
With practice it is possible to maintain focus for an hour or more.
One of the interesting things discussed by productivity analysis of software developers is just how disruptive a momentary interruption can be. Stopping coding to check email for 10 seconds will cause 15 minutes of lost time in the day. When you lose the ability to concentrate it is your mind that is interrupting itself. It becomes extremely difficult to be productive.