If you wish, you can be a slave of the passions, and if you wish, you can remain free, and choose not to submit to their soul crushing yoke. God has created you with this power.
St. Ignatius Brianchaninov
An attentive life lessens the effect of physical emotions on a person, while sharpening, strengthening, and forming the influence of spiritual emotions. A scattered life, in contrast, has a soporific effect on the spirit - it feeds on the constant activity of physical emotions. It is useless for the scattered man to call his scattered way of life harmless! He is only proving the depth of his own sickness, which has taken him over completely. This sickness is so profound, it dulls the fine emotions of the soul so that the infected soul does not even recognize its diseased state.
Those who desire to learn attentiveness must reject all empty activity in their lives.
Private and social responsibilities are not considered part of the scattered life - distraction is always connected to a waste of time or activities that are so meaningless, they can very correctly be considered a waste of time. Useful earthly work, especially service to one's country done with conscientious diligence, does not prevent the development of attentiveness to oneself. In fact, it helps to form it in the first place. Even more useful, are monastic obediences, when they are fulfilled in the proper manner.
An active way of life is a perfect way to acquire vigilance over oneself, and this path is recommended by the Holy Fathers for all who want to learn self-attentiveness.
Attention to oneself brings priceless spiritual gifts, but such solitude is possible only for men of mature spiritual age, who have long labored in piety, at first learning attentiveness during an active life. Other people are a great help to a person striving to learn attentiveness in an active life, because they remind him of how he constantly loses attention. Being a subordinate is the best way to become attentive - no one teaches attentiveness to the self as much as a strict manager.
As you do your work among people, do not allow yourself to waste time in empty words and foolish jokes.