We are always talking about how important it is to manage our time properly, but we seldom think about the importance of managing our attention. What’s the use in organising our day-to-day work if we’re not able to focus on the tasks that we had planned to finish?
Time management is deeply connected to attention management. No matter how well we plan our day; we won’t get anything out of our planning unless we’re able to devote our effort to the task we’re dealing with.
Multitasking: the great enemy
If we take into account all the different stimuli besieging us, then ‘attention’ turns into money. According to the attention economy, our most valuable asset is not our time, but our ability to focus on any specific task.
We spend the whole day paying attention to different matters, but without really concentrating on any of them. We tend to think that we’re more efficient this way, but the objective data reveal the opposite. Multitasking increases the time we devote to getting our goals and reduces the quality of the outcomes. And not only that: not paying enough attention can make us waste some very valuable time and make more mistakes.
Attention and efficiency
We can make the importance of attention management perfectly clear with just one example. You may have a half-an-hour meeting, but then you spend the whole time checking your e-mail, reading documents or answering your phone. This way, when the meeting is over, you will have lost all the time devoted to it because you didn’t pay enough attention. So, the most important thing is to focus on each task, not to just spend time on them.
In case you’re wondering how you can improve your attention management, we suggest taking a look at these six pieces of advice to improve your concentration. Attention is the key to your productivity and you can also train it. It’s easy and, believe it or not, it works!
Translation by Susana Castro.