HomeBlogSelf ImprovementTime is not the most important thing you have, it’s your attention.

Time is not the most important thing you have, it’s your attention.

Time is not the most important thing you have, it’s your attention.

We have all heard the saying, “Time is precious; don’t waste your time.” And to some extent, that is true. If you are able to work and you don’t work, then you have to ask yourself are you using your time wisely. The bible says that “A little sleep, a little slumber, and little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. (Proverbs 6: 10-11) So it is good to be productive, but there is a difference between productive and busy. When you are busy, sometimes your time is not spent being productive. However, when you are productive, then you are using your time wisely because you have focused your attention. 

So today I want you to shift your focus from using your time (i.e. the number of hours you have in your day), to WHAT you are spending your time on. In other words, give thought to where your attention is going.

Attention does not get enough attention! Let me ask you a question. Have you ever had those days where you sat down at the end of the day and asked yourself, “Where did the day go? Boy, time flies.”  If you have had the conversation with yourself, then what you really meant to say is that your attention was all over the place and you were not able to remember what you accomplished. So today we are going to explore practical ways to capture your attention as well as look at the things that take it.

Attention Takers

In order to capture your attention, you need to figure out what is taking it. Being mindful of your actions is one step, but I don’t think that is enough. You have to take yourself out of your daily routine, and interact with what you are doing. 

To find what is taking your attention, try this. Now before I tell you the activity, I have to warn you it might take some time. But don’t give up. I promise it will be worth it. The task is to write down everything that you did in a day along with the length of time that it took you to do it.  Below is a snapshot of my calendar. You can see that I time block what I have to do. 

Now, what I want you to do is to focus on the tasks that you do over the course of the day and ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much time did I spend on social media? (spoiler alert: it might be more than you think)
  • How much time did you spend watching TV?
  • How much time do you spend answering emails?
  • How much time did you spend working at your job (and how much of that time was actually spent on your job)?
  • Time spent on cooking, cleaning, eating, driving, texting?

Now, how much of that time did you spend on tasks that produce income?  That’s a big question. I have the opportunity to hang around with entrepreneurs, millionaires, and real estate investors, and one thing that they have in common is their ability to focus their attention on one or two things, master those things and not get distracted. They ask themselves the question I posed above: is this task going to get me closer to my goal? And then they lock their sights on that task and do not allow distractions to come in.

You see, interruptions cause us to live distracted and often unproductive lives. We will be busy but not accomplish anything. If your attention is constantly distracted (think text messages, social media posts, any ding on your phone), then your attention is interrupted and it is often difficult to re-engage in an activity after we were distracted.

Attention Givers

Now after you try that exercise I’m sure you found some activities that take your attention.  Now it’s time to get your attention back. 

Here are some suggestions to help you manage your attention and move forward:

  1. Time block your days: Get a planner and write down what you want to accomplish that day and then stick to it!!  This is the planner that I use:

           Legend Planner from Amazon (yes, I am an Amazon Affiliate; I have to tell you this)

  1. Minimize distractions when you need to get something done: turn off your notifications, put your phone on silent mode.
  2. Set a specific time to go on social media or do a particular activity.
  3. List out 3 things you are going to do that day and then do them.
  4. Work for 55 minutes and then break for 5. During that 5 minutes, write down what you did (did that task make you money, have potential to make you money, or not make you any money at all)
  5. Set a timer on your phone to focus on one task at a time and don’t do anything else.
  6. Get into a routine. Routines help us feel productive in our day when we know we have accomplished set goals before doing anything else.

There is one thing that I did not mention that you also need to keep your attention focused, and that is discipline. You have to be disciplined in order to pay attention to what you are doing. Without discipline, attention will not be focused, and without attention, your time will be wasted.

Discipline is a blog for another time.  First, capture your days. Be mindful of what you are doing, and go set a timer to capture your attention!!

©2024 · Sue Saller · All Rights Reserved.

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