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jerryking : attention_spans   14

Work smarter, not harder. Here’s how
July 29, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by KIRA VERMOND, SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL.

Suzanne Andrew, a freelance writer in Vancouver, took stock of her growing number of deadlines. One client wanted her to complete 26 profiles – articles that describe an individual or organization – in one month.

“I love writing profiles, but when I looked at the amount of work, it felt crushing,” she says.

Rather than brace herself for 18-hour days, all-nighters and inevitable burnout, Ms. Andrew took a different approach. She paused and then came up with a game plan.

“I’d worked as a project manager in the past and found that what worked best when managing other people was to create work-back schedules and milestone deadlines,” she says. “As a freelancer I was used to simply working to deadline, but realized I could make things easier and less stressful if I acted as my own project manager.”.....Ms. Andrew created a work-back schedule that outlined exactly how many interviews she had to conduct, plus a daily writing quota to meet the overall deadline. Once she met her daily target, she could stop work for the day and rest.

Here are a few pointers.....

1. WORK WITH YOUR ATTENTION LEVELS
Not every moment of the day is created equal when it comes to feeling sharp and productive. Our brains can only handle so much focused work time. Everyone has three levels of attention: proactive, active and inactive.

Feeling proactive? You’re in the zone: Take advantage of those times each day. Active times are best spent on less focused tasks like addressing emails or making a phone call.

And those inactive times? “Your brain is cooked,” You should probably be taking a mental break, going for a walk or getting a cup of coffee. Even just doing low-priority, repetitive work like filing is a good idea.”
Work with your brain’s energy levels. Don’t fight them and push yourself through those inactive times.

2. PLAN THE NIGHT BEFORE
Don’t allow your inbox become your to-do list. Instead, take 10 minutes at the end of the workday and create tomorrow’s action plan. What’s most important? What must get done? The next morning, look at that list and work on the most vital tasks before even thinking about firing up e-mail.

3. THINK LIKE A SMOKER
Pay attention to the way smokers take their breaks: They leave the building, go outside and even socialize.
“I’m a big believer in quality breaks,” she says. “How you take your break is as important as [taking] a break.”Get up. Move. Take in some fresh air and talk to people. You’ll come back more refreshed and proactive.

4. TRY THE POMODORO TECHNIQUE
....a productivity method, developed by a business consultant named Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s. (Pomodoro means “tomato” in Italian, a nod to old-school, plastic timers shaped like tomatoes.) The method dictates that you set a timer for a short amount of time – say, 25 or 30 minutes – and then focus on one task without interruption. Once the timer goes off, take a short break. Then, if needed, you do it again. Commit to going deep for 25 - 90 minutes (jk: sustained inquiry),” “It’s amazing when we consciously choose to do one thing, and one thing only, how much we get done.”
action_plans  attention  attention_spans  best_practices  focus  lists  monotasking  Pomodoro  preparation  priorities  productivity  project_management  slack_time  sustained_inquiry  thinking_backwards  thinking_deliberatively  timeouts  timing  to-do  work-back_schedules  work_smarter 
july 2019 by jerryking
Productivity Isn’t About Time Management. It’s About Attention Management.
March 28, 2019| The New York Times | By Adam Grant.

The better option is attention management: Prioritize the people and projects that matter, and it won’t matter how long anything takes.

Attention management is the art of focusing on getting things done for the right reasons, in the right places and at the right moments........E.B. White once wrote: “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” But in my research, I’ve found that productive people don’t agonize about which desire to pursue. They go after both simultaneously, gravitating toward projects that are personally interesting and socially meaningful........instead of focusing on how quickly I wanted to finish this article, I asked why I agreed to write it in the first place: I might learn something new when synthesizing the research; I’d finally have somewhere to point people when they ask about productivity; and it might help some of those people......productivity struggles are caused not by a lack of efficiency, but a lack of motivation. Productivity isn’t a virtue. It’s a means to an end. It’s only virtuous if the end is worthy. If productivity is your goal, you have to rely on willpower to push yourself to get a task done. If you pay attention to why you’re excited about the project and who will benefit from it, you’ll be naturally pulled into it by intrinsic motivation.

But how do I stay on task if I’m not worried about time?
Attention management also involves noticing where you get things done.....a series of studies led by Julia Lee (now at Michigan) show that bad weather is good for productivity because we’re less likely to be distracted by the thought of going outside....My favorite part of attention management is the when. Most of our productivity challenges are with tasks that we don’t want to do but that we need to do. ....there's something called attention residue: Your mind keeps wandering back to the interesting task, disrupting your focus on the boring task. ...if you’re trying to power through a boring task, do it after a moderately interesting one, and save your most exciting task as a reward for afterward. It’s not about time; it’s about timing.

Of makers and managers
If the goal is not just to be more productive — but also to be creative, then the stumbling block is that productivity and creativity demand opposite attention management strategies. Productivity is fueled by raising attentional filters to keep unrelated or distracting thoughts out. But creativity is fueled by lowering attentional filters to let those thoughts in.

How do you get the best of both worlds? In his book “When,” Dan Pink cites your circadian rhythm as help to schedule the right time to do your productive and creative work. If you’re a morning person, do your analytical work early when you’re at peak alertness; your routine tasks around lunchtime in your trough; and your creative work in the late afternoon or evening when you’re more likely to do nonlinear thinking. If you’re more of a night owl, you might be better off flipping creative projects to your fuzzy mornings and analytical tasks to your clearest-eyed late afternoon and evening moments. It’s not time management, because you might spend the same amount of time on the tasks even after you rearrange your schedule. It’s attention management: You’re noticing the order of tasks that works for you and adjusting accordingly
Adam_Grant  attention  attention_spans  circadian_rhythms  creativity  Dan_Pink  filtering  intrinsically_motivated  motivations  priorities  productivity  sequencing  time-management  timing  willpower 
march 2019 by jerryking
Squirrel? We must zero in on improving our attention management - The Globe and Mail
Here’s what I discovered along the way:

Being distracted isn’t our fault (it’s the way we’re biologically wired).
Deliberately letting our mind wander is one of the best ways to become more creative.
When our attention is at rest, we think about our goals 14 times as much as when we’re focused.
We accomplish our intentions more often by taming distractions ahead of time. A few ways to do this: Use your phone’s greyscale mode, which turns your screen black-and-white and makes apps far less engaging; enable e-mail notifications for VIP contacts only; and have no-phone dinners with your family.
The most significant idea I encountered was a simple one, but with profound implications: The state of our attention determines the state of our lives. The moments in which we’re distracted accumulate – day by day, week by week, year by year – to create a life that feels distracted and overwhelming.

On the other hand, when we focus for longer periods on what’s productive and meaningful – important conversations, big work projects and experiences with loved ones – our lives improve by virtually every measure. We get more done, dive deeper into our experiences and notice more meaning around us, because we process the world with greater intention.
attention_spans  distractions  interruptions  squirrel-like_behaviour 
november 2018 by jerryking
Why Deep Work Matters in a Distracted World
Posted by Taylor Pipes on 23 Feb 2017

Work accomplished = (time spent) x (intensity)

How to create meaningful work
Deep work does not have to be tedious. In fact, it can be enjoyable, creative, meditative, and thought-provoking. Here are some tactics to integrate the principles of deep work into your schedule:

Work deeply. It takes great patience and practice to get to the point where you can integrate long stretches of deep work into your schedule. Newport created an equation to explain the intensity required of deep work and compared it to students who pulled all-nighters in college.
Work accomplished = (time spent) x (intensity)

Work at a high level with dynamic and intense intervals that increase over time to produce a desirable outcome. Get in the zone for at least 90 minutes and build up to periods that last anywhere from two to four hours, or more.

Protect your time. Maintain a set of rituals and routines to ease deep work into your day more easily. Try implementing scheduling tactics into your workflow like:
Tallies – Keep a tally of the hours you spend working, or when you reach important milestones like pages read or words written.

Deep scheduling – Try scheduling deep work hours well in advance on a calendar, like two or four weeks ahead of time.

Scheduling and tracking time has a huge benefit of giving time back. Many academics, authors, and scientists have been able to produce ample amount of work while working normal hours and having time for personal pursuits or family on evenings and weekends.

Train your brain to do nothing. Try for a moment, to sit still and do nothing. How long do you find it takes until the social stimuli and buzzing signals of your mobile device prove too much? If you can embrace sitting quietly meditating or thinking, or even staring into space, then you can train your brain to spend more time in deeper work.
Quit swimming upstream. Decide for yourself what restrictions you can place on email and social media by removing it from your work week altogether, or by logging out and staying off for an entire day. Evaluate your personal and professional life and experiment where social fits and where it doesn’t. Your result may be a month-long digital detox, or completely cutting the cord on social.
Cut the shallow work. Endless meeting requests and instant email responses are turning knowledge workers into ‘human routers’ that create the shallow work that defines many of workplaces. We’ve been groomed to reply and respond because it feels like we’re accomplishing something, when in reality, we’re not.
attention  attention_spans  Cal_Newport  distractions  focus  GTD  hard_work  knowledge_workers  personal_accomplishments  productivity  rituals  routines  sustained_inquiry  thinking_deliberatively 
july 2017 by jerryking
How Successful People Network with Each Other
JANUARY 21, 2016 | ???| Dorie Clark. Ms. Clark is a marketing strategist and professional speaker who teaches at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She is the author of Reinventing You and Stand Out. You can receive her free Stand Out Self-Assessment Workbook.

As you advance in your career, you have more experience and more connections to draw on for networking. But chances are you’ve also become a lot busier — as have the really successful people you’re now trying to meet. How do you get the attention of people who get dozens of invitations per week and hundreds of emails per day? And how do you find time to network with potential new clients or to recruit new employees when your calendar is packed?

The typical advice that’s given to entry-level employees — Invite people to coffee! Connect with them on LinkedIn! — simply doesn’t work for people at the top of their careers. Instead, you need to leverage an entirely different strategy, something I call “inbound networking.”

In the online world, “inbound marketing” is a term that was popularized about a decade ago by HubSpot cofounders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. It refers to the practice of creating valuable content, such as articles or podcasts, that draws customers to you directly (as opposed to spending a lot of time on cold calls or paying for advertising to lure them in).

Networking is facing a similar inflection point. Most professionals are constantly bombarded with Facebook and LinkedIn connection requests, not to mention endless requests to “pick their brain.” Trying to stand out in the midst of that noise is a losing battle, and you probably don’t have time to send a bunch of cold emails anyway.

Instead, you can successfully network with the most prominent people by doing something very different from everyone else: attracting them to you with inbound networking. In other words, make yourself interesting enough that they choose to seek you out. Here are three ways to do it.

(1) Identify what sets you apart. (What's your special sauce?). One of the fastest ways to build a connection with someone is to find a commonality you share with them (your alma mater, a love of dogs, a passion for clean tech). That’s table stakes. But the way to genuinely capture their interest is to share something that seems exotic to them. It will often vary by context: In a roomful of political operatives, the fact that I was a former presidential campaign spokesperson is nice but not very interesting. But at a political fundraiser populated by lawyers and financiers, that background would make me a very desirable conversation partner.

The more interesting you seem, the more that powerful people will want to seek you out. And yet it can be hard for us to identify what’s most interesting about ourselves; over time, even the coolest things can come to seem banal. Ask your friends to identify the most fascinating elements of your biography, your interests, or your experiences — then do the same for them. At one recent workshop I led, we discovered that one executive had been a ball boy for the U.S. Open tennis tournament in his youth, and one attorney is an avid and regular surfer in the waters of New York City. Both are intriguing enough to spark a great conversation.

(2) Become a connoisseur. Almost nothing elicits more interest than genuine expertise. If someone is drawn to a topic that you’re knowledgeable about, you’ll move to the top of their list. Since publishing my books, I’ve had innumerable colleagues seek me out to get advice about finding an agent or fine-tuning their manuscripts.

But sometimes it’s even better when your expertise is outside the fold of your profession. Richard, a financial journalist I profiled in my book Reinventing You, was able to build better and deeper relationships with his sources after he started to write part-time about food and wine. He discovered that his Wall Street contacts would proactively call him up to get information about hot new restaurants or the best places to entertain their clients.

You can also use nontraditional expertise to build multidimensional connections. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett could certainly have a decent conversation about business. But it’s their expert-level seriousness about the card game bridge that cemented their bond, eventually leading to Buffett’s decision to entrust billions to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

When you’re an expert in a given niche, you can often connect on a level playing field with people who, under other circumstances, might be out of reach. One friend of mine, a corporate executive who produces jazz records on the side, recently got invited to the home of an internationally famous rock star as Grammy campaign season heated up.

If you know a lot about wine, or nutrition, or salsa dancing, or email marketing, or any of a million other subjects, people who care about that topic are sure to be interested in what you have to say.

(3) Become the center of the network. It’s not easy to build a high-powered network if you’re not already powerful. But New York City resident Jon Levy took the position that the best way to get invited to the party is to host the party. Nearly six years ago, he started hosting twice-monthly “Influencers” dinner gatherings, featuring luminaries in different fields. Levy’s gatherings now attract a guest roster of Nobel laureates and Olympic athletes. But he certainly didn’t start there.

Begin by inviting the most interesting professionals you know and asking them to recommend the most interesting people they know, and over time you can build a substantial network. At a certain point you’ll gain enough momentum that professionals who have heard about the dinners will even reach out to ask for an invitation. As Levy joked to one publication, “One day, I hope to accomplish something worthy of an invite to my own dinner.” When you’re the host, pulling together a great event liberates you to invite successful people who you might not normally consider your peers but who embrace the chance to network with other high-quality professionals.

I’ve also hosted more than two dozen dinner parties to broaden my network and meet interesting people. But that’s certainly not the only way to connect. These days, any professional who makes the effort to start a Meetup or Facebook group that brings people together could accomplish something similar.

The world is competing for the attention of the most successful people. If you want to meet them — and break through and build a lasting connection — the best strategy is to make them come to you. Identifying what’s uniquely interesting about you and becoming a connoisseur and a hub are techniques that will ensure you’re sought after by the people you’d most like to know.
networking  via:enochko  Communicating_&_Connecting  connoisseurship  hubs  creating_valuable_content  idea_generation  content_creators  personal_branding  attention_spans  inbound_marketing  high-quality  expertise  think_threes  special_sauce  personal_accomplishments  inflection_points  insights 
april 2017 by jerryking
Twilight of the Rock Gods -
March 25, 2017 | WSJ | By Neil Shah.

As rock ‘n’ roll loses its founding megastars—and sales juggernauts—the music industry faces pressure to revamp.....As rock's founding fathers and mothers get older, the music industry faces a problem: can younger artists replace their sales?

Of the 25 artists with the highest record sales in the U.S. since 1991, when reliable data first became available, just one—Britney Spears—is under 40, Nielsen data show. Nineteen of the 25 are over 50 years old.....In terms of concert-tour revenue, artists over 50 represent half of the $4.5 billion generated by last year’s top 100-grossing tours, excluding non-music acts and comedians, according to a WSJ analysis of data from Pollstar, the trade magazine. Of the top 10, five were over 50, including Bruce Springsteen (67), Guns N’ Roses (average age 53), Paul McCartney (74), Garth Brooks (55) and the Rolling Stones (73), Pollstar data show.......the number of celebrity deaths last year wasn’t exceptional, according to a study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, though the number of “mega famous” celebrity deaths was. Because of their penchant for hard living, rocker deaths are likely to stay consistently high. .....Rock has an outsize influence on music sales. It was responsible for 41% of total U.S. album sales last year, far higher than hip-hop and R&B (15%), country (13%) or pop (10%), according to Nielsen......Much of rock’s commercial success was possible because of the way the industry was structured. By the 1980s, cash-rich major labels were helping finance tours, throwing money at fledgling acts and investing huge sums in veteran stars even when their careers floundered.

Such investments—equivalent in spirit to the R&D expenditures of pharmaceutical firms—helped artists build enduring brands and transformed superstars into major corporations that overshadow young pop/rock acts even today.......WILL YOUNGER STARS FILL THE VOID?

Probably not. Because of the multiplicity of entertainment options today, reduced attention spans, personalized tastes and less record-label support, most of today’s artists will never be as big as yesterday’s rockers.

Radio used to have the power to make even a lower-quality rock release popular. However, the fragmentation of the music industry—fans using multiple formats and splintering across rock, hip-hop, country and electronic music—means most acts will never find the same big audiences......WHAT ABOUT CONCERTS?

Young megastars like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and country acts like Carrie Underwood make most of their money on tour. And there will be a successive generation of touring veterans like Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Nicki Minaj, along with unexpected reunions and area headliners.

But many acts today from rapper Future to rockers Japandroids don’t generate colossal sums compared with older stars.......WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

The concert business is going in two directions: diversifying into festivals and smaller venues, to focus on younger audiences, while continuing to squeeze every opportunity out of the boomer market.

Joe Edwards, a St. Louis music-venue owner, sees the industry shifting focus from big venues such as amphitheaters to the smaller 1,000 to 3,000-seat venues suited to today’s artists. “I see more acts loving those sizes,” he says, since the artists don’t have to wait to play bigger stages. “Smaller venues will be very popular,” he says.

To reach younger audiences, Live Nation, the country’s biggest concert promoter, has been on a music-festival-buying spree. Last spring, the company bought a majority stake in Founders Entertainment, which runs New York’s Governors Ball festival, part of a strategy that diversifies its business away from the 40-plus amphitheaters it runs.
aging  artists  attention_spans  celebrities  concerts  deaths  golden_oldies  legacy_artists  Live_Nation  live_performances  music  music_industry  music_festivals  music_venues  rock-'n'-roll  small_formats  small_spaces  superstars  touring 
march 2017 by jerryking
How to manage your time like a president - The Globe and Mail
COLLEEN FRANCIS
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 22 2015

time is a non-renewable resource.

“The Eisenhower Matrix” – is that all business problems can be grouped into one of four categories:

Urgent and important: a very short list of items where you must act immediately;
Urgent but less important: a short list of tasks where you would be better served to delegate right away;
Non urgent but important: a longer list of tasks that you must act on, but later;
Non urgent and unimportant: matters that don’t require your attention.

The key to managing your time in the Eisenhower Matrix is to be merciless and choosy about what deserves your time and focus right away. That needs to remain a very short list of tasks. If it isn’t, you need to reevaluate how you and your organization makes a distinction between urgent and non-urgent issues.

Just as important, know the value of your time and outsource anything that can be done for less than your time is worth.

Doing this, you avoid the trap of being too reactive or overwhelmed by a relentless inbox demanding decisions from you on issues both large and small.
attention  attention_spans  discernment  Dwight_Eisenhower  focus  overreaction  overwhelmed  priorities  relentlessness  self-discipline  time-management  urgency  worthiness  mercilessness 
june 2015 by jerryking
Do you have the attention span of a squirrel?
Jul. 29 2012| The Globe and Mail | HARVEY SCHACHTER.

Squirrel-like behaviour kills productivity, contributes to the erosion of depth in knowledge work, and hurts personal creativity. (And it’s not only the boss – staff can also exhibit squirrel-like behaviour.)

“So the next time one of your staff comes up to you to initiate a conversation, ignore your phone when it rings,” he advises managers. “Look away from your laptop. Close the lid if you have to. When a rude co-worker tries to butt in, tell her you’ll get back to her. Focus on the person in front of you.”
focus  productivity  monotasking  attention_spans  squirrel-like_behaviour 
july 2012 by jerryking
Excerpt: Buy-In: Saving Your Good Idea from Getting Shot Down
October 8, 2010 | BusinessWeek | In an edited excerpt from
their new book, John Kotter and Lorne Whitehead introduce a
counterintuitive approach to turning skeptics into advocates for your
new idea, plan, or proposal....The true buying-in of a new idea is about
winning over hearts and minds--it is an emotional commitment. The
single biggest challenge faced when obtaining buy-in for a good idea is
getting people's attention. Don't try to overcome attacks with tons of
data or logic. Instead, do what might seem to be the opposite. Keep
responses short and above all, RESPECTFUL. Goal is to "win" the thoughts
and feelings of the majority, not the 1 or 2 critics so watch the crowd
very carefully. Don't try to wing it, even if you know all the facts
thoroughly, even if the idea seems bulletproof, and even if you expect a
friendly audience. Preparation can significantly build confidence and
reduce anxiety.
resistance  obstacles  excerpts  HBS  persuasion  John_Kotter  howto  ideas  books  Communicating_&_Connecting  pitches  life_skills  Managing_Your_Career  attention  attention_spans  preparation  emotional_commitment  self-confidence  buy-in  counterintuitive  skeptics  the_single_most_important 
march 2011 by jerryking
Gaining and holding attention in a cluttered world
Jun 2007 | Public Relations Tactics. New York: Vol. 14, Iss.
6; pg. 6, 1 pgs | by John Guiniven. In their breakthrough book "The
Attention Economy," Thomas Davenport and John Beck said an important
distinction exists between awareness and attention."We are aware of many
things, but not paying attention to them,' ' they wrote.When we focus
on a particular item, we become engaged, attentive, and we move to a
decision phase, which leads to the sought-after and repeat
behaviors....Finally, evaluation, often ignored in awareness campaigns,
needs to be incorporated into attention campaigns. Was the message
source - the spokesperson or the organization itself- seen as
trustworthy and credible? Was the message context related to a concern
of the audience?Was the message content engaging to the point of
audience involvement? Did the audience consider the substance of the
message?
attention  public_relations  ProQuest  Thomas_Davenport  analytics  attention_spans  awareness  attention_economy  Communicating_&_Connecting  messaging  pay_attention 
march 2010 by jerryking
A high-tech sports revolution
Jan. 09, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | by Stephen Brunt. The
boomers and their buying power are heading toward the sunset, and the
talk in the sports business now is about how to attract and hold a
different generation, with a different, diminished attention span,
accustomed to having the whole world laid out for them, every minute of
every day, literally at their fingertips.

Getting them out of their homes and into the building or into the
ballpark, getting their eyes to linger for more than a few seconds as a
game flickers across a screen – not to mention the advertising that pays
the freight – has become the core challenge.
sports  consumption  Stephen_Brunt  revolution  arenas  future  challenges  LBMA  sports_marketing  baby_boomers  millennials  attention  advertising  buying_power  stadiums  attention_spans 
january 2010 by jerryking
Hal Varian on how the Web challenges managers
January 2009 | The McKinsey Quarterly | interview with Hal
Varian . We have to look at today’s economy and say, “What is it that’s
really scarce in the Internet economy?” And the answer is attention.
[Psychologist] Herb Simon recognized this many years ago. He said, “A
wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” So being able to
capture someone’s attention at the right time is a very valuable asset.
And Google really has built an entire business around this, because
we’re capturing your attention when you’re doing a search for something
you’re interested in. That’s the ideal time to show you an advertisement
for a product that may be related or complimentary to what your search
is all about.
management  strategy  innovation  McKinsey  psychologists  attention_spans  Information_Rules  Google  Hal_Varian  digital_economy  scarcity  attention  intentionality  information_overload 
july 2009 by jerryking

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