Why your attention is like a bag of chips!
Setting an intention can be incredibly powerful. Whether big like a goal for your business, or small like the intention I set when I sat down to write this blog post, having an intention (or an objective or goal if that language sits better for you) is jolly useful when it comes to getting things done.
Our intentions help us to stay focused on what's important, to stay in our own lane and to stay motivated when things feel tough.
So why is it that even when we have clear goals for our business, even when we can see where we're heading and feel excited about getting there, we still often find ourselves frittering our days away?
Because we're not being intentional with our attention.
Our attention is a precious, highly sought-after commodity. All day long we're surrounded by things vying for it. People get paid seriously big bucks to come up with ways to grab and hold our attention, whether that's through social media, advertising, Netflix (playing the next episode automatically for goodness' sake - what hope do we have?!) or countless other pieces of tech that we allow into our lives. And then of course there's housework, family demands, personal commitments and our own thoughts and ideas.
Like a bag of chips on a beach full of seagulls, if you don't consciously protect your attention, something will swoop in and steal it away. Just like that, you're no longer in control and a seagull is eating your dinner.
So what happens if you don't actively choose where you place your attention?
- You get pushed and pulled around
- You're easily distracted
- It's impossible to focus
- Someone else's agenda dictates how you spend your time
- You hardly make a dent in your priorities for the day.
It can be soul-destroying to look back on the day and wonder what on earth happened. To have spent all day rushing from one thing to the next but with very little to show for it.
Does any of this sound familiar?
If so, let “be intentional with your attention” become your productivity mantra. Say it softly to yourself as you go about your day. I kid you not…try it, it works!
If ever I find myself standing in the kitchen scrolling mindlessly through instagram, as soon as I realise what I'm doing I ask myself if that's really what I'd intended to do with my time. The answer is usually no.
Be gentle with yourself. If you suddenly feel compelled to rearrange your bookshelves or watch 'just one more' episode, kindly, non-judgementally ask yourself: "Is this what's best for me right now?"
Carry on setting those big, powerful intentions for your life and then throw in a generous helping of in-the-moment awareness and see what happens; I'll wager a bag of chips that your progress will soar!
Will you be giving this a go? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.