B = Attention, or how to create time
It is useless for people with such a psychological portrait as mine to engage in time management. A lot of things are interesting, several projects at the same time, strategic thinking, interaction with the word “boring” is very difficult. When everywhere is curious, and everywhere you want to climb and do something, the likelihood of burnout increases. What to do?
I tried different things. Any “productivity” fell away first. Let's be honest: "productivity" is an umbrella brand for various incremental micro-improvements, which everyone applies to one degree or another.
Let's go deeper: practice. Practices create lasting change. For five years of experiments, I liked the effect of meditation, active lifestyle, and interaction with the body the most. Running, fighting, yoga, breathing are also class. Therapy and coaching are super-helpful, but it's a little difficult to find the person you click with.
As a result, I came to the following formulation: attention and intent are important first of all .
Attention is where we are directing ourselves in the short term. These are the daily things we do. “Bad” attention management is when any garbage can suck this valuable resource. There are too many “cheap dopamine” these days: games, social networks, porn, fast food, gossip, debate, etc. “Expensive dopamine” is smaller and more difficult: create, publish, speak, sell, charm, build, grow, etc.
Intentions are where we direct ourselves long-term. This is where our actions lead gradually, if we wake up and do something that is important to us day after day. “Bad” intentions either do not lead to anything, or end destructively for themselves and others. “Good” intentions long-term make our life and the lives of others better.
How to manage attention?
Here are 7 things that I found most useful.
1. Investigate attention. Watch where attention creeps out by default, and how much these things fit in with long-term intentions. If you record 3-4 weeks every day, the answer to the question “where did I focus my attention today?”, It can result in a very interesting and sometimes amazing portrait of myself.
2. Train attention. The practitioner of mindfulness is now dofiga, do not meditate. It is important to find your own, enter the rhythm and practice every morning immediately after waking up and every night right before bedtime for at least 15-20 minutes. The effect will be in a few weeks, so it is important not to quit.
3. Find out what is competing for your attention. Attention is the ultimate bio-resource. At each point in time, some forces compete for this resource. Question: what are these forces? Example: powerful emotions can immerse in a cycle of experiences that take away all the attention to themselves. This can go on for days, weeks, years. To know these emotions, work with them and make sure that they do not have power over attention is a direct good result. True freedom is to choose what may have access to your attention and what may not.
4. Direct attention. The ability to determine what is worthy of attention and what is not, and then direct attention to where it is needed most is a skill that can be developed. For example, I regularly check-in for a week, and look where I directed my attention, is it worth making a course correction. The trick is that people are creatures both planning and improvising. Speaking the language of Clay Christisansen from Harvard Business School, our strategies are of two types: intentional and situational (arising along the way). When we can direct our attention in such a way as to take advantage of both of these strategies, we are most adaptive.
5. Distribute attention. Good idea: to make groups in which attention will be directed. I managed to group everything into about four areas: health, self-realization, relationships and joy. Similar groups came from professors Stanford Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, when they began to help thousands of students decide what was really important for them in their current life stages and build their careers around that . If a group does not receive proper attention for a long time, I conduct an audit and do something about it. Yes, in this sense I’m nerd, I have a backlog and trillo in these four directions, metrics and a weekly stand-up with myself ¯_ (ツ) _ / ¯. Sometimes I follow this design, and sometimes not (see the previous paragraph).
6. Release attention. We approach the curious: how to understand and what to do when attention is directed to a lot of things in a Slick? Something like in products - strict prioritization. A polite refusal helps (“No” is a complete offer), detox, travel, retreats, and that’s all. How to create empty space? Learning to not-do, as in Taoist practices. Just blunting into the clouds without doing anything is quite an art nowadays. To be able to plunge into the forest and breathe properly by activating all five senses is a rarity.
7. Create time (and not look for it). Let's say we sorted it out with attention. How to create time? In an amazing way, when attention is set 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 for your community, games and entertainment with other people.
At first it’s a little strange that there is this time, and then there is work, obligations, etc. But gradually you understand the logic of this picture: honesty with oneself and courage will lead to the elimination of harmful relationships, useless projects, drama Obama, unnecessary undertakings for anyone and all that. All that remains is what is worthy of attention.
Text: Alexey Ivanov