Attention Budget

Attention is finite.

The confessions of a multi-tasker….

Over my piping hot cup of Hazelnut served to the brim of my favorite french white mug, while reading the morning newspaper about the Rays possibly moving over to Tampa, while watching my phone for any incoming emails/texts/tweets, and listening thru my headphones some of Toby’s new:

None of that mumbo jumbo
Give me that hip hop funk soul
Give me that funky Jesus music
Give me that soulful gumbo

I Tweeted – “I WILL stop multi-tasking and start doing 1 thing really well.”

Noise – static – distractions – ugh….

I succumb so easy to them all. And the result is often a diluted effort of my best…

Gina Trapini wrote in a recent Fast Company article: “Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can multi-task jobs that need your full attention. You’re not really having a conversation while you write; you’re shifting your attention back and forth between the two activities quickly. You’re juggling. When you juggle tasks, your work suffers AND takes longer–because switching tasks costs.”

Because attention is finite, I had to prune – gone were 4 activities I loved, not the least of which was Facebook, but they all competed for some of my finite attention, and I was waaaaay over budget.

Budget – yuck.  But not really…

Our time expenditure really becomes a matter of budgeting and management. How much one-on-one can I invest, because that’s where the real value sharing the love of Christ kicks in.

Chris Brogan posed this in one of his powerful posts “Ask yourself this question CONSTANTLY: where can I add the most value to what matters most to me and the people who care about me?

Budget. Set an attention budget, and then spend it!

I spend my online attention on:

  • My blog (1 hour per day). Why? Because I believe that we all have a story that God is playing out in our lives daily.  And that story is meant to be shared.
  • Twitter (20 combined minutes each day). Why? I only follow those who inspire.  God speaks thru them to me all day long.
  • Writing my book (1 hour per day).  Why? Because it’s something that God has placed within me and I must be obedient.

See where I’m going?

Chris gives us this challenge – “What if you did something as simple as take a spreadsheet and put in the top 3-5 things you wanted to spend time on in a day? Just list them out. Put the first thing first (Thank you, Dr. Stephen R. Covey). And so on. Now, what if you made that a sticky note? What if you made that your desktop background? What if you followed your own attention budget?”

What would you be able to accomplish then?


2 responses to this post.

  1. Very nicely put… Have cut out much UN – needed stimulant myself!

    Ahhh! The Tyranny of the urgent!

    How could Jesus, ( after only a three year ministry) say to the father it is finished?

    There were still more prostitutes, more drunkards, more thieves, more lost people to save. . .
    The cry from Martha and Mary… your friend Lazarus dies! ( The urgent !)

    Jesus stayed two more days . . knowing his father’s will . . . he raise Lazarus from the grave and glorify His Abba! ( The important!)

    Ah . . . That the Holy Spirit would teach me the difference!

  2. Thanks Roy. I originally didn’t want to read this post…but it’s clear I need to budget my time more wisely.

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