Why We Can’t Focus Creating

The reason we can’t focus is because we jumble creating, consuming, and communicating. 

How many times you respond to your Facebook message, email, or phone call while working on something that matters to you?

How many times you check the latest news, or read a blog, or watch YouTube, or visit any social media sites while creating something? (I’m guilty doing these things, sometimes.)

While consuming information and communicating is good and can be helpful in our creative process, we should realize that creating, consuming, communicating are three different processes.

As Leo Babauta wrote in his book Focus: A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction, “Creating is a completely separate process from consuming and communicating.”

Here’s the solution: Separate creating, consuming, and communicating.

The mind is designed to focus on a single thing alone. If you’re creating, create. Pour your energy and attention into it. Don’t switch (unless it’s an emergency, a life-or-death situation).

Because every time you switch, you hurt the process — you hurt your mind. It saps a bit of your mental energy, a bit of your creative time.

Easier said than done, I know. Even I, struggle to do this. But if you really care and you really want to finish your masterpiece (or whatever you’re creating), then separate your “sacred time for creating” from consuming and communicating.

In the words of Leo Babauta:

“When you separate them, you’ll free up your time and mind for creating, and create better and more prodigiously than ever before.”

We can do this.