B = Attention, or how to create time

B = Attention, or how to create time



People with such a psychological portrait, as I have, it is useless to do time management. Interestingly a lot of things, several projects at the same time, strategic thinking, interaction with the word “boring” is very difficult. When everywhere is curious, and everywhere I want to climb and do something, the probability of burnout grows. What to do?


I tried different. The first is no longer any "productivity." Let's be honest: “productivity” is an umbrella brand for various incremental micro improvements that everyone already applies to one degree or another.


Let's go deeper: practice. Practitioners create long-term change. During the five years of experiments, the effect of meditation, an active lifestyle, and interaction with the body was the most pleasant. Running, fighting, yoga, breathing is also a class. Therapy and coaching are super-helpful, but it's a little difficult to find your own person with whom you click.


As a result, I came to this wording: attention and intentions are important first.


Attention is where we direct ourselves in the short term. These are the daily things we do. “Poor” attention management is when any garbage can suck up this valuable resource. There are too many cheap dopamine today: games, social networks, porn, fast food, gossip, controversy, etc. "Dear dopamine" is less and it is more difficult: to create, publish, perform, sell, enchant, build, grow, etc.


Intentions - this is where we direct ourselves long-term. This is where our actions lead gradually, if we wake up and day after day do something that is important to us. “Bad” intentions either do not lead to anything, or end destructively for themselves and those around them. “Good” intentions make our lives and the lives of others better in the long term.


How to manage attention?


Here are 7 things that seemed to me the most useful.


1. Investigate attention. Observe where the attention crawls by default, and how well these things correspond to long-term intentions. If you write 3-4 weeks every day to answer the question “where did I direct my attention today?”, Then you can get a very interesting and sometimes amazing portrait of yourself.


2. Train your attention. The practice of mindfulness is now dofig, you are not considering. It is important to find your own, enter into a rhythm and practice every morning immediately after waking up and every evening right before going to bed at least 15-20 minutes. The effect will be in a few weeks, so it’s important not to quit.


3. Find out what is competing for your attention. Attention - the final bio-resource. At any given time, some forces compete for this resource. Question: what is this force? Example: powerful emotions are able to immerse in the cycle of experiences that take all the attention to themselves. This can go on for days, weeks, years. Knowing these emotions, working with them and making sure that they do not have the power over attention is a really good result. True freedom is to choose what can have access to your attention and what is not.


4. To direct attention. The ability to determine what is worthy of attention and what is not, and then direct attention to where it is most needed - this is a skill that can be developed. For example, I regularly check-in during the week, and look where I directed my attention, whether it is worth making a course correction. The trick is that people are creatures and planners, and improvising. In the language of Clay Christisensen of Harvard Business School, our strategies are of two types: intentional and situational (arising along the way). When we are able to direct attention in order to enjoy the benefits of those and other strategies, we are most adaptive.


5. Distribute attention. Good idea: make groups to which attention will be directed. I managed to group everything into about four areas: health, self-realization, relationships, and joy. Similar groups have turned out to be Stanford professors Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, when they began to help thousands of students decide what is really important for them at the current stage of their life and build your career around this . If a group does not receive due attention for a long time, I conduct an audit and do something about it. Yes, I am in this sense Nerd, I have backlog and trello in these four areas, metrics and a weekly standup with myself ¯_ (ツ) _/¯. Sometimes I follow this construction, and sometimes not (see the previous paragraph).


6. Unleash attention. We approach the curious: how to understand and what to do when attention is focused on a lot of things? About how in products - hard prioritization. A polite refusal helps (“No” is a complete sentence), detox, travel, retreats, and that’s all. How to create empty space? Learn not to do, as in the Taoist practices. Just blunt into the clouds, doing nothing - quite an art in our day. To be able to dive into the forest and breathe properly by activating all five senses is a rarity.


7. Create time (and not search for it). Suppose we figured out with attention. How to create time? Surprisingly, when attention is focused on those things that are really important, and the unimportant is postponed, turned off and forgotten, a lot of time appears. It can be given to blog posts on your favorite topics, work that inspires, support your community, games and entertainment with other people.


First, a little strange that there is this time, and then there is work, obligations, etc. But gradually you understand the logicality of this picture: honesty with yourself and courage will imply that harmful relationships, useless projects, drama-obama, unnecessary undertakings and all that, disappear. It only remains that is worthy of attention.




Text: Alexey Ivanov
Community: @ponchiknews

Source text: B = Attention, or how to create time