Creative Leadership

Stop Undervaluing Your Attention

One interesting thing I’ve discovered is how most people actually undervalue their own attention. The book, “The Attention Economy,” calls attention “the most important resource in business,” but few people treat it that way.  As I watch people at work, I’m amazed at how much time they waste opening junk mail, watching junk television, or reading junk email.  The irony is that it would take a serious investment in attention to save our attention.  But I’m afraid most people aren’t that committed.

The next time you’re faced with mail, TV, email, websites, meetings – or even people – who are adding to your information overload, save yourself and walk away.  Multi-tasking is highly overrated.  Learn to be in the moment.  In conversations and meetings, it’s the most important gift you can give.  Start understanding the critical value of your attention, and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

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    Harvard Business Review has an article titled “Death by INFORMATION OVERLOAD” in their September edition written by Paul Hemp. He writes, “A study by Microsoft researchers tracking the e-mail habits of coworkers found that once their work had been interrupted by an e-mail notification, people took, on average, 24 minutes to return to the suspended task…People often used the interuption as an opportunity to read other unopened e-mail messages- or to engage in such unrelated activities as text-messaging a friend or surfing the web.”  

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