The Strategist

Tie Up Your Attention

07/30/2015 - 17:33

A knock on the door, the phone rings, the sound of incoming mail. All day long, we are constantly interrupted and distracted. Technical devices, people, unforeseen situations - they are constantly demanding our attention. Carson Tate in his book, "Work simply" gives tips on how to minimize the impact of various factors on our attention.

Biness via youtube
Biness via youtube
Three minutes of attention

Gloria Mark, a professor of the University of California, Irvine, is studying electronic stimuli distracting. She found that nowadays, a clerk usually have only three minutes to wholly focus on the job before anything or anyone - electronic or human - distract him or he gets distracted. Professor Mark also estimated that next, the person will need about 23 minutes to get back to the task, which he was performing before the break.

Priceless non-renewable resource

"Time is money -" - the old saying goes. But this is not true. Time is much more valuable than money. If you work hard to build your business or acquire high-growth stocks, you can make more money. And today 24 hours, as soon as they take place, are not refundable, no matter what we were doing. Your task is to reconsider your attitude to time. The goal is to start thinking of it as a resource, precisely - as a non-renewable and invaluable resource.

Unintentional account

Its mission - to be on guard, watching for potential threats to our existence. Today, we are no longer faced with the dangers, which our ancestors often came across - predator attack or attacks of hostile tribes. However, our brains have not yet evolved to the point of marking the difference between the sound of incoming mail and the roar of a wild beast. Although we sometimes think that email worse than any bloodthirsty creatures, in reality it is not. While our attention is unintentional running at full capacity, we have to fight even with dopamine, which makes us feel the hunger for information. As you read these lines, there is a desire to know more about it, which is easy to meet by typing the word in the line on Google. At the same time, you want to check your email. Another curiosity wakes up, what will be the weather over the weekend. Dopamine makes us look for the information, getting a biochemical reward for our research, and now want to continue them - again and again.

Keep track of your attention

This simple but amazing exercise will help you to realize your full attention. Set aside few hours for its implementation, whether during working hours or on weekends. Mark with a letter what was the reason for the diversion - people, things, ideas or emotions. For example, C - colleague, B – baby, S – sense, M - mail, W- web-surfing, S - social network and so on. And put a dash whenever attention is not diverted. Now, having information about what and how often you are distracted, you can start to make adjustments. Look to your mark and try to catch some repetitive facts.

Warm up

Keep a pair of comfortable shoes in a desk drawer or in a car to be able to quickly walk up and down the corridors of the company’s building or around the streets. Restart your brain. Imagine that you have a reset button in your mind, and say, "I need to press the reset and return to normal." So you can take the "spotlight" of attention from the environmental inspection and submit it to the task.


Take a deep breath, stomach bulging forward, then exhale with force, pulling the stomach. Repeat this exercise five to seven times, and see how the voltage and hum from the set of thoughts in his head disappear. There are other breathing exercises that allow to get rid of the noise in the head. Place the tongue against the roof of the mouth and blow out a breath as if trying to blow out the candles on a birthday cake. While you exhale, count to seven. Now you are able to focus again.

Change the "scenery"

Find a vacant conference room, go to the official dining room when no one was there, or go down to the nearest cafe - in other words, go to where you will not be torn away. If you have to stay in the office, sit down so that people could not catch your eye. Using these tips, you can minimize the impact of various factors of distraction, adversely affecting your health. Good luck!

based on "Work simply. Embracing the power of your personal productivity style" by Carson Tate

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