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How to Be a Productivity Ninja: Attention management

In any knowledge job, you are constantly shifting between “boss mode” where decisions and planning occurs and “worker mode” when you are actually doing the work.

Both require a different level of attention and this creates conflict.

Attention is a more limited resource than your time !

There are 3 levels of attention

1. Proactive attention: This is where you are fully focused and alert

2. Active attention: This is where you're plugged in, ticking along, but perhaps flagging slightly.

3. Inactive attention: The lights are on but no one appears to be home.

We have approximately 3-4 hours of proactive attention per week. So we need to schedule our work based on our attention level.

We can shift our inactive attention to active by a few quick fixes.

Here are some of them :

  • Changing our set-up i.e. room, environment

  • Switching to a different task

  • Going outside for a walk and fresh air.

To be productive, you need to ruthlessly choose where to put your attention. When you maximize your attention, you are able to move fluidly through the day and get your work well done.

Continue reading the original article here


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