On Attention

March 02, 2017

In the January edition of my monthly publication I talked about Craig Mod’s article “How I Got My Attention Back”. It’s really had a profound impact on my work and I’d like to share some thoughts about it.

My attention span in the morning has always been pretty poor. I previously didn’t really get started with work until the caffeine kicked in around 10am. By lunchtime, I didn’t really feel like I’d achieved anything. This has all changed by following a few simple rules based on Craig’s article:

  1. No more phone after 10pm or before 11am. I now switch my phone on Do Not Disturb and put it on my desk. For the most part I’ve stopped checking Twitter etc. before 12pm. That time in the morning is for focus.

  2. I make a to-do list every evening, comprised of tasks I want to achieve the next day. Sticking to 3 or 4 key tasks keeps the challenge attainable and gives me a sense of achievement for that work day.

  3. Reading before work. I wake at 7am, I brew coffee, and I read. This typically takes me to around 8/8:30am and then I start my work. Headphones on, Focus on, work time. I feel that reading gives your brain a bit of a kickstart.

  4. I usually stop work around 4pm, plan my following day, and do some exercise. Due to the work accomplished in the morning, I don’t feel the need to work on until 5:30/6pm, unless I’m particularly busy.

  5. If I’m working in the office, I start this routine even earlier so I can sit down at my desk by 8am. By lunch time, I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot.