It is a truism that we need “to focus” in order to apply ourselves. Focus means excluding irrelevant input and just doing what is in front of you. But how do you tell what is irrelevant? In the easy case, one does not worry about reading the newspaper while mountain climbing. But in day to day settings, the question is more nuanced.
What are the nuances? Well, we experience data from different sources – about ourselves, about others and about the world. Any one or all of these sources may carry important data to us as well a irrelevant detail. Here is a nice article that goes into the balancing of these sources.