July 10

Channeling Your Finite Attention

“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.” – Zen proverb

Focus is an act of bravery.

You have a finite amount of attention to spend on behalf of your daily work. How you allocate that finite attention is critical to your success. However, there are any number of distractions that can arise and pull you out of focus. 

There is a dynamic that I like to call “The Ping”. It’s a perpetual pin prick in my gut that says “You should go check your email!” Or, “You should go check your voicemail!” Or, “You should go check your phone because maybe the President of the United States is calling you with a national security crisis!” That’s the level of urgency The Ping delivers and it has us living in a state that researcher Linda Stone calls “continuous partial attention”. I’m always kind of here, but I’m also kind of somewhere else at the same time. Do you think you do your best work that way?

Of course not.

Focus is an act of bravery because in order to say yes to one thing you must say no to many, many others. Yes, you may always fear what you are missing out on, but that is the price that you must pay for the clarity that comes with sharp, honed focus.

Be brave today and protect your attention. Dedicate some time off the grid to delve deeply into your most important, focused creative work. You will be rewarded.

Question: Do you ever have time “off the grid”, when no one can reach you? Carve out time today to focus on your most important work.  

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