Toss out time management. Manage your attention instead.

What we focus on expands and what we stray away from, shrinks.

Whether we accept or not, this is true for everyone of us.

But what we do instead is to try to manage time, as if we can control the clock as we would like. Truth is we fill out 168 hours a week, 30 days a month and 365 days in a year with one or two ever-changing priorities. Sometimes consciously and mostly unconsciously.

How it happens?

Everyday you pick one idea mostly unconsciously and that spark your thoughts. If you pay heed for long enough, these thoughts become your most dominating thoughts for the day. And guess what you act upon them.

This entire scenario happens so unconsciously that you don’t even realize that it has actually happened.

But why can’t we manage time?

Time flies by whether you pay heed or not. You can’t control it. You can’t stop it. And you can’t even manage it because it has nothing to do with you.

But you can certainly manage your focus and attention.

Here’s how.

How to manage your attention?

As you already know that I am a huge fan of one goal a day strategy, this will help you manage your attention. But before that we will set our priorities (we can call it theme) for at least a year.

My theme for this year is – Personal Development.

I have decided my theme after pondering the most important things in my life –

  1. Writing
  2. Learning
  3. Starting & building businesses
  4. Taking care of my health

Give this idea a thought. What are the most important things in your life now based on what you would like to achieve in a year?!

According to the list of things you want to achieve, pick three or four most important things and create a theme around them.

Now, the easy part. Focus on one thing everyday. Forget about time. Manage your attention.

Yellow Car Phenomenon

In Lee J. Colan & David Cottrell’s Change This manifesto (download it here for free), they talked about this Yellow Car Phenomenon which is one of the ways to manage your attention.

They wrote –

One way to manage attention is to harness the power of the Yellow Car Phenomenon. This is a phenomenon that you have undoubtedly experienced and perhaps wondered about. It happens when something unusual catches your attention—let’s say, you see a bright yellow car driving by. You think to yourself, “hmm, I don’t see one of those very often.”

Later that same day, you see two more bright yellow cars. The next day, you see three more. Has there been a sudden invasion of bright yellow cars? No, they’ve been there all along. The difference is that you’ve suddenly become aware of them; you have a heightened awareness of yellow cars. We call this the Yellow Car Phenomenon.

So what to do with this new idea?

Use this and once you are convinced share this idea with others. Also download the manifesto and share this with whomever you think can utilize.

Thanks for reading through. Go. Make something happen.

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