Attention Management

Shifting our focus towards people and projects, rather than the time it takes for us to work on something is referred to as Attention Management.

Productivity is not a virtue, but just a means to an end, and it means nothing if the end is not worthy. Paying attention to your intrinsic motivation, on why you are excited about the project will make you push yourself naturally and achieve the goal.

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Time Management

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Time Management Is Not A Solution

Most people want more done during the course of the day, feeling productive if they have checked more boxes out of their to-do list. Time management has been a fad for a long time, equating productivity with the number of hours spent working.

The way we approach time management is proving to be a vicious circle of wasting time managing time, turning it into a problem rather than a solution towards productivity.

Many studies show that bad weather days when it is too cold or rainy, keeps the working people glued to their work, being more productive as they are less distracted by the thought of going outside.

Contrasting effects, which compare your mundane task to the more enticing and juicy alternatives, make the task even more escuricating and dull. This Attention Residue happens because our mind keeps wandering to a more interesting task, making the timing of the various tasks at hand something to consider.

Example: Eating a sweet dessert makes your sour vegetable taste even more yuckier.

Based on the kind of work and energy levels, one can plan the days or weeks into different kinds of work zones, where there are clear demarcations on the kind of work you plan to do.

  • Maker Days: Days or times of the day where we enter the flow mode of creativity with no distractions.
  • Manager Days: when we answer emails, make calls and hold our meetings.

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Smart Choices

How we choose to respond to others and to our work also determine our ultimate outcomes

Next time: choose to walk away from that complaining coworker, choose your lunch break instead of your work, choose to focus on you work instead of the ‘ping’ of someone’s red-flagged email, and choose to stand up for yourself and say “NO” when you are asked to do more than you are able.

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Maker and Manager schedules

Split your day between Maker and Manager time:

  • Managers cut up their day into one-hour intervals (or less) and bounce between tasks.
  • Makers need long stretches of uninterrupted time (usually at least half a day at a time).

To protect your focus, try to schedule at least a bit of Maker time into each day.

Having to wake up early

If you get up early -- you can't stay up all night. You have to have a bedtime schedule -- and stick with the routine. 

If you’re not a morning person, then don’t force yourself to change. Instead, base your schedule around your specific ultradian rhythms.

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