Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Attention Deficit or Attention Surplus?

As a knowledge worker, I am always on the alert for how to maximize my productivity.  As anyone can attest, your mental energy ebbs and flows throughout the day.  I've been reading about how to take advantage of those rhythms and how to recognize the optimal structuring of your time and attention.  This article caught my eye, "One of the first keys, ... is to recognize that you have a finite attentional window--and structure your workflow to be congruent with that capacity. This speaks to ... how work is a series of sprints--and to be our most productive and most creative, we need to unplug throughout our workdays." The rest of the article can be found here.

So that morning cup of tea and reading an article on creativity and productivity are actually going to boost my productivity.  The down time where we focus on something other than the task at hand often produces new ideas or new approaches that actually move the project along.  Getting up and taking a brisk walk or talking to a colleague are other ways that I take a mental energy break.  So often I find that a bit of fresh air gets those neurons firing again.  I always take Siri along on my walks so I can dictate any brainstorms that come to me. I find that these habits boost my attention.

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