Meta-attention - Deepstash

Meta-attention

...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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MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

CURT STEINHORST

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

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DANIEL GOLEMAN

“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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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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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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RELATED IDEAS

High-Quality Work Produced = (Time Spent) x (Intensity of Focus)

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A process of performing “professional activities…in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.” - Cal Newport

Historically, psychologists used to refer to deep work as “being in the flow."

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There are no productivity hacks

Habits and work systems can produce the best return on your time.

Getting more work done is about knowing what to do, when to do it, and how to get it done in order to maximize the little time you have every day.

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