Are You Still Paying Attention?

| March 18, 2019

by Rob DiNinni

Wait, what was I going to say? Oh, right; it feels like the virtual world is battling for our attention and we’re having trouble concentrating, listening, and reflecting.

Staying on task and focused in an age of distractions is vital to the creation and building process. Now focus up.

Why is this happening? We have nonstop access to social media connections and digital information pummeling us in the face. We’re trapped in a virtual second life and unable to concentrate and appreciate. . . . Oh, wait; I have a text alert going off, or is that one of my notifications? . . . Now where was I? Should I check or keep typing? It can wait. You’re much more important. Yes, you! Stay with me.

We are adapting by processing and encoding information at hyper-speeds with heightened levels of attention. We can now process more data in less time. We try to juggle multiple sources of information and activities at the same time. Multitasking is a function of toggling our attention between competing activities and information.

Sheryl Faye of StageCoach Improv at play with participants from the Dept. of Veteran Affairs (VA)

We even toggle back and forth from past to future. We can get stuck on a comment made three nights ago. She says, “This relationship is not a competition but I’m winning.” What does that mean? Ok, OK, back to the now and surrender completely to the smell of this mocha cappuccino and the buzzing sounds of people and dogs around me. This is my environment. I’m taking a sip of my coffee now. Ok, too hot! What in the molten lava java is this? Ok, I’m still here but my taste buds have left.

Congratulations you made it this far! I have your attention. We’re on the same page. This page.

StageCoach Improv at play with participants from the Dept. of Veteran Affairs (VA)

The tenet of improv is “Yes . . . and.” This principle provides a platform to focus with all our senses, accept, and build on, ideas in the moment without any distractions. As each scene in a building project unfolds, make an effort to untether yourself from focusing or doing too much at the same time and more on the relationship and task in front of you or the café buzz around you.We miss moments that could enrich our lives. A picturesque sunset, an architectural work of art, or a colleague’s snort while you share a cackle. You may be an idea away from making a difference in someone’s life or transforming yours.

“Yes,” it’s now time to say goodbye “and” finish my mocha cappuccino because we made it to the end. My java lava level is now palatable. Drink in your moments.



Rob DiNinni is principal and founder at StageCoach Improv, a Boston-based firm delivering dynamic and interactive improv for business, training, and entertainment nationwide.

Rob DiNinni is an actor, improviser, comedian, educator, writer, and coach with over 15 years of corporate experience as an esteemed business development, sales, and marketing professional in the IT industry. As a founding member of StageCoach Improv, he has performed and facilitated corporate improv training, leadership development, team building, sales is improv, conflict resolution, and interactive entertainment since 2004. He also works closely with executives, clinicians, and medical schools providing improv, leadership, and communication skills coaching as an actor and educator.

StageCoach Improv has customized a specific set of exercises and techniques employed by improvisational actors designed to enable sales professionals to confidently present ideas, create stories, evoke emotion, and build relationships.


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