Learning to focus in times of distraction – Suzanne Boccalatte

We’re living in a time of unrivaled connectivity with near limitless access to information at our fingertips—this is an attention-grabbing culture and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. It’s been said we now suffer from constant restlessness, feeling that we need to do more, to move faster and break things to succeed. This is the heart of our modern times. Have we lost the ability to slow down and find pause and concentrate—essential to be creative and successful?

The solution is not unwavering pure focus, but our ability to learn how to manage the distractions around us. We need to practice this both online and offline. We will always find things to distract us, whether it was the television last century, the Internet or something else in the future.

Today we are suspicious of the pause, and often see it as unnecessary or self-indulgent, as opposed to being essential to finding balance and resilience. Yet our greatest art, music and ideas for every technological breakthrough — originated here in those moments of unencumbered contemplation and concentrated attentiveness. Now try it for yourself, pause and smell the flowers, I dare you.


About The Speaker
Suzanne Boccalatte has led a multifaceted creative life as a designer, artist, educator, publisher and writer. She is Professor Art & Design at UNSW. In 1990 she founded Boccalatte, an award-winning design practice, working with some of Australia’s most significant cultural and arts brands, with a mission to create work that encourages curiosity, foster culture and enrich society. She publishes and co-edits Trunk—an award-winning compendium with contributors from the global creative community, the next volume is on ‘Breath.’ Suzanne has always enjoyed working in the cultural and creative industries where shifts in attitudes and mindsets emerge first.