Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivityBlog.
You can call it attention, or focus. But the act of thinking about something, good or bad, solidifies its presence in our minds.
This was brought back to me this week as I was reading an article about luck and how people who perceive they are unlucky will actually be unlucky. The opposite is true as well: those who think they are lucky are, in fact, lucky.
The Importance of What We Pay Attention To
One of the few things in our lives we can actually control is what we pay attention to (and that is not 100%, either). Depending on how we focus our minds, on the negative or positive, we attract more of the same.
This week I was doing software testing as we geared up for a quality cycle. I normally don’t do internal testing, and I find it terribly tedious. The first day I went in with the tedious mindset. My day was boring, awful and tiring. The next day I decided I would approach the testing with enthusiasm. As a result, it was, and I found some things in the software that were very interesting, and found a path for a future feature rewrite that will be assigned to me. The only difference was what I chose to focus on.
How To Focus
When I find my attention and focus wavering, I dig up one of my favorite articles on managing attention. The steps in the article are summarized here:
- Watch yourself. Monitor your thoughts. Be aware.
- Stop negative attention as soon as possible. Don’t focus on the negative. Find a truly positive thing to focus on.
- Have a default. This gives you something to think about when you find yourself drifting.
- Prevent distractions. Do one thing at a time.
- Invest for high returns, beware of diminishing returns. Focus on the important things.
It’s good to have a concrete reminder of the power of thought.
Photo by gordonr