How to Practice “Meta-Attention” to Get More Deep Work Done - Deepstash

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“Distraction, at its core, is this: confusion about what matters."



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...or, better still, attention to attention: learning to become more aware of the things that consistently distract you.

To become more aware of the many distractions working against you, start tracking your attention.


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“The antidote for mind-wandering is meta-awareness, attention to attention itself, as in the ability to notice that you are not noticing what you should, and correcting your focus.”



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Attention to attention and productivity

Applied to productivity, it’s a time efficiency practice that brings your awareness to everything that’s trying to take your attention to the task at hand.

When you practice meta-attention, you stay in observation mode: noticing distractions as they interrupt your deep work and quickly derail them before they turn your single-tasking habit into multitasking. As you notice the distractions, you refuse to react and return to focus mode.


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Taking care of distractions

You can build a productive system that takes care of some distractions whilst practicing meta-attention:

  • Design your immediate work environment to support deep work
  • Keep one tab at a time
  • Work in springs of 30 minutes at a time
  • Taking short breaks in between deep work
  • Working offline when necessary and
  • scheduling email/ notification time.


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