Hey fearless babes and welcome to another episode of Meaningful Life with Silvia!

Today, the question I will answer is:

How to manage your attention

Do you know what is the problem here? We try to manage our time. We give ourselves two hours to complete a task but if we spend it talking to a coworker, daydreaming or ruminating over the task we actually don’t finish it not because of lack of time but because of the lack of attention.

That is why managing attention is crucial to success in almost all areas of life. Mainly if there is fear, self-doubt or anything like that present it is much easier and safer for the mind to wander than to actually do the task that is uncomfortable. However, the most uncomfortable tasks bring the biggest results.

So here’s how to manage your attention to get maximum of your available time:

WATCH THE VIDEO:

Read The 5 Tips for Managing Attention:

1. Brain dump

If there are a lot of thoughts of all the stuff you have to do, say, remember spinning in your head there is not much space left for the attention.

First, you must clear up your mind and then you can start the work. And what is the most effective way to clear up your mind? Brain dump. Take a piece of paper and pen or open a new document and write down everything you think about. T

his makes sense even if you have a to-do list because often there are things in our head that are not in your to-do list.

When everything is written down you don’t have to think about it or worry you will forget it – it’s there, for later. Now you can pick the task you want to start with (if you don’t know yet) and focus solely on that task.

2. Plan your work time strategically

We all know that when working we should start with the top priority, you may even know the Eisenhower principle of dividing tasks between urgent and important and starting with those that are both urgent and important and never do tasks that are not urgent and unimportant.

Although, this is a great way to approach your to-do list we are just human being and through the day our attention is at a different level. So get to know yourself better. When is the time of the day where it is the easiest for you to do creative work like writing? When is the time for you to do the admin work? And so on.

For most people, it is the best to create in the morning, do the admin after lunch when the belly is full and brainstorm new idea later in the afternoon. But if it is easiest for you to create in the night make your schedule around it, don’t force yourself to create in the morning when you feel sleepy and foggy. Be aware of these nuances.

3. Audit how you spend your time

Very often I hear people saying – I spent 10 hours doing this and I’m not finished yet, this task takes so much of my time! And my instinct is to ask – and what is the result of those 10 hours.

I don’t ask this often, I save it for my clients because many people are just not willing to admit that they spend 10 hours thinking about the task or planning or doing something that is actually not required to get the desired result. So before you start working on something – get clear on how much time do you want to spend on that task and what is the result you want to get after that time passes. And then look back on your work.

Did you get the result? Did you spend the time effectively? Did you spend the time actually working on the task or scrolling Facebook? You know what I mean.

4. Take short but effective breaks

This is a no-brainer and you might have heard me saying this couple of times already. Your brain can’t work at the same effective level 16 hours a day. Breaks are not for losers. Breaks are for winners.

A few years ago, when I worked in the advisory we had a situation that we have so many clients but so little people so all of us had to work crazy overtimes. That time I thought that if only I can force myself to work more and with fewer breaks I will accomplish more. I refused to go for a lunch break or dinner break. I was eating while sitting by my computer and working. I thought I can save some time. What a stupid idea, right?. I fried my brain completely.

It’s not about how smart you are or about your will power. Your brain just needs breaks. Set a timer and after every hour, go for a walk, hit the stairs, play a game, meditate or do anything else to rest your brain. And drink a glass of water. Your brain will thank you.

5. Make your mind wander

A common obstacle in managing the attention is wandering mind. If this is not eliminated by the brain dump, frequent breaks and strategical planning of your day don’t push yourself.

Schedule a time for your mind to wander. 1 hour of work 10 minutes of wandering. The work won’t feel like punishment and you will also train your mind to listen to your commands, not vice versa.

You are the one in charge. So be in charge. If you set a time to wander you might even notice that the mind doesn’t wander anymore when you give it space. Your mind’s wandering is very often connected to resistance to doing some task, once you do it the desire to wander is gone.

Now I have a question for you:

What helps you manage your attention?

Stay tuned for the next episode 🙂

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Don’t forget that you can live a unique and meaningful life on your terms, you just need to conquer your fears.