Which Card Do I use to Pay Attention?

image If you could pay attention through payments on a special card, what would your balance look like?

Overdrawn?

Creditors beating down your door?

The word attention comes from a Greek word which means “to attend". To me that really brings home the fact that paying attention to something is not the passive act many have reduced it to in their vain efforts multitask.

If you want more proof that the brain can’t pay attention to one thing at a time, read the book Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School and its numerous references to recent, peer-reviewed studies and direct brain-research which shows that the brain simply can’t pay attention to more than one thing at at time.

It’s not a matter of training, or having enough IQ points. The brain is simply not wired to do it.

So what can you do?

A friend of mine seems to recognize a tendency I have to shift my attention at odd times. I’ve been described as a weird cross between a hummingbird feeding and Tigger. When this happens she’ll say, very clearly and without a hint of meanness, “Hey, over here. Use your words.” Sometimes my eyes roll around a bit as I grab hold of my mental rudder but it works and I do appreciate it.

Though I can imagine other people I know messing up the approach and me getting very annoyed.

How about you? Have you learned the hard way that you can’t really pay attention to more than one thing at a time? I hope the woman in this article learned her lesson…

Do you have any tactics for keeping focus on important things? Share your ideas and experiences below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pic: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Credit-cards.jpg

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