I often challenge people to tally up the hours they spend on work, sleep, family, social media, and of course their passions each week. It can be quite an eye-opener.
However, it’s really a little more complicated than that. Time spent doesn’t mean you’re engaged with what you’re doing, as every daydreaming child in school could tell you. In fact, where you spend your attention and therefore your energy, is what truly matters.
Your mission today is to make sure your energy is in the places that are best for you.
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Task 1: Where’s your attention?
I already mentioned the daydreaming student, but it’s really not just children. How many of us have sat in a meeting, miles away and doodling whilst pretending to listen?
Further examples of this may be:
- You’re at work, but on social media or planning the shopping for your dinner.
- Perhaps you’re pursuing your passion but your thoughts are with a relationship problem.
- You’re in love and whatever it is you do, you only think of the one you’re in love with.
None of these examples are meant to be “negative”, by the way, they’re complely normal. Simply notice how often your attention is not with what you’re doing.
Task 2: From time and attention to priority
The first task served to show that you’re already spending your attention not necessarily on what you do, but what’s important at this time, but you’re doing this subconsciously. Task 2 is to use this mechanism on purpose.
On average, there’s room for 3 or 4 priorities in a life. Say, yourself, your relationship, your children and your passion. I challenge you to spend your attention there.
I’m not suggesting to daydream your days away at the office. What I’m saying is that you shouldn’t live and breathe and get emotionally entangled in things that aren’t a priority. Also, make both time and spend attention/energy on the things that matter to you – without feeling guilty.