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May 2, 2016

Actionable Tip - Attention Management

This month’s theme is Time Management and you can get the free worksheet at 

In university, I worked one summer at an office and computer supplies company.  One day a sales rep came up as I was putting in orders and asked for something.  I can't remember what I said in response but I do remember him asking me to look at him when I spoke and calling me rude.

That was before social media was around.  I could already feel the pressure of preferring to look at a screen than a pair of eyes.

Now, as a mom, those eyes are not of a middle aged sales rep, but a young little girl who just wants to communicate with momma.

This episode got me thinking...and changing.  I am boosting looking into the eyes of my family as a priority over looking at a screen.  I'm good at doing this when we're out at a restaurant, the park etc, but when we're at home, it's tempting to just say "yeah, okay, in a minute" without looking eyeball to eyeball.

Our attention follows where our eyeballs are directed.

Years ago my husband worked for a company where the bosses asked the IT department to do an analysis on websites most frequented by employees.

The report showed the hundreds of employees visited Facebook the most of any site.  The bosses then decided to blacklist Facebook.

Three Tips for Attention Management

1.  Pay attention to your attention

Imagine a camera is following from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep.  If you could review the footage, what would it show about where you place attention?

2.  Invest your attention on things with the highest return for you

Back to the footage, what would it show is important to you?  When you think of your goals and the lifestyle you want, does anything look like it's getting too much or not enough attention?

3.  Be clear on the experiences you are looking for

Know what you want in life because that will be the reference point for where your attention goes.  Regularly reflect on how you can improve your world to improve your life.  Maybe it's deleting apps, pulling out neglected household projects, signing up for new hobbies.  Control where your attention goes, don't let your attention get out of control.

"My experience is what I agree to attend to." - William James

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