My office computer lies on top of an old dynamite box. In the back left corner of this box, you’ll find my pebble.
Not any pebble. A pebble fetched from the banks of my favorite steelhead stream. But that’s not what makes my pebble awesome. My pebble provides FOCUS.
I make my living in the digital marketing world. A market segment that’s perfected the art of disrupting our lives. I too have fallen victim to the real-time drip of updates.
The phone dings and I grab it. The phone dings again, I grab it again. Each and every time disrupting the task at hand and resetting my focus.
Truthfully, I’ve never been known for my attention span – “oh look, squirrel” – but in recent years I’ve noticed an addiction to the ding and thus a decline in efficient, productive work.
These disruptions come at the price of time. Half hour projects take the entire morning. Morning projects take a day and on and on. The one aspect of life I can never get back – TIME – lost to a lack of focus.
Recognizing this slide, I vowed to establish habits in 2019 that would heighten my attention. One of these habits included daily meditation via Headspace. After making it through the basics, I started my current block on… you guessed it: focus.
Ten days into my focus meditation block, Headspace introduced the pebble. My Pebble. Each day I pull my pebble out of my desk, focus on my pebble, shift my focus away and then regain my focus again on my pebble. It sounds simple, but it really works.
I’ve become a big fan of my pebble. I’m now using it in other areas of my life to also anchor my focus. For example, I’ll place my pebble on my cell phone for 45-minute increments. While the pebble holds down the dinging phone, I only work on the defined project. Afterwards, I return my pebble to the corner of the dynamite box.
As I’m putting the finishes touches on this post, my pebble happily sits on top of my phone. My phone dings and I smile. My phone dings again and I smile again. My pebble directs my focus, not an arbitrary ding.
Months from now my pebble may become just another river rock again. For the time being, it’s doing so much more. It’s providing FOCUS. It’s freeing TIME.