Attention is the greatest asset you can bring with you each day. Whether at work or at home, full attention to the details of what is happening around you is becoming one of the strongest assets you can bring in an attention based economy.
Let me explain.
If you have walked in a mall or stopped at a red light recently, you will notice that most everyone is fully attached to their mobile device. There is even a story of a man who has become so attached to his phone that he has ‘married’ his phone.
Now more than ever, people are distracted, anxious, attached and driven by what is in their hands. We fade in and out of conversations like waves coming in and out from the shore. We move around mindlessly to our surroundings because we are living through the lens of someone else’s life on social media.
In a time like this, it is vital that we refocus and rethink about our interactions with our devices and about our ability to focus in an attention based economy which will soon favour those who can provide their full attention. Simply put:
Your success depends on your focus in an economy driven by those who can give the most attention and focus.
If you are someone who struggles to remain attentive during the day or if you struggle to focus and feel constantly distracted with the digital world which craves your attention, you are not alone. The average person typically spends up to five hours a day on their mobile phone. That is five hours of distraction while our world economy demands attention and focus.
In a world where distraction has become the norm and where complex economies don’t want you to understand what is happening around you, the easiest thing seems to be reverting to the digital space to comfort us, control our happiness and determine our friendships and mediocre victories.
To avoid the easy route and to avoid becoming an economic zombie, here are some strategies for giving your job, your relationships and your life the full attention it deserves to become more successful, attentive and focused.
Arianna Huffinton, Creator of the Huffington Post, has created a product known as ‘The phone bed’ which you use to literally put your phone to bed every night (in a separate room of course). This is a great tool to separate you and your family from technology before bedtime. This increases your quality sleep time, energy and focus for the next day. In an attention based economy, you need the best sleep you can get. I would encourage you to get this.
Meal Time Does Not Equal Tech Time
When we would often go out for a dinner meeting, some former colleagues of mine would sometimes stack our phones on our table. The first person who reached for their phone to check it would then have to take the bill. It was a brilliant idea. Want to save money? Increase your attention and focus during meal time and it will take you much further than checking your phone. Try this the next time you are out with friends. Maybe you will get a free meal.
Act; Don’t Distract
Too often, people mindlessly make decisions during their day because they are trying to think of their world and the digital world which they are distracted and caught up in on their mobile device. Don’t believe me? Go to an airport or a mall and you will see. Acting out of focus and full attention can take you much further in an attention based economy rather than making more reactive, distracted based decisions. Thinking clearly about the present is a great gift you can give to the world, your relationships and yourself.
Set a Timer
Setting a timer to how long you should be on your phone is key. As stated above, many of us spend up to five hours a day on our phones. However, what if we began setting parameters to this to help us better control our urges to check our phones, scroll aimlessly and becoming distracted? Brilliant.
This is something I have done to combat the constant reminder that my phone is on and with me. I have put my phone on sleep mode all day. I am reminded to check it less. It does not make any sound which interupt my work, my relationships or my deep sleep and it just makes my day more calming by becoming less distracting. This may be something you wish to implement as well.
Ultimately, I need to borrow a quote from Coach Taylor of Friday Night Lights. When inspiring his boys to win at football, he would start every game by saying, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose”. Clear your head, fill your heart with focus, clarity and attention and you will become successful in a world economy that demands your upmost attention.