Time management vs. attention management

June 1, 20210 CommentProductivity

In 2019, the New York times published a piece titled “Productivity isn’t about time management. It’s about attention management”. We often find ourselves falling victim to this common fallacy of, “there just aren’t enough hours in the day” – but the truth of the matter is, we all have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyonce! Or Zuckerberg, or Musk, or Gary Vee. By switching the way we think about our productivity and attaching new meaning to it, we can reframe the way we work.

Firstly, reducing distractions to ‘get in the zone’ is the most sensical step. It may seem obvious, but when you tune into your surroundings you may be surprised to find just how much is distracting you. Is there a mess in the room that’s bothering you? A load of laundry in the corner you keep mentally berating yourself for not doing? Or maybe your lo-fi chillhop music playlist is more irritating than it is calming? Internal distractions can also cause strife, like remembering errands you need to run or letting your mind wander back to an argument you had with someone. A great way to fight these distractions is to make your desk your sole and dedicated work zone and only work from there, not from the couch (or lord forbid – the bed!). It means that when you sit down, your brain is encouraged to go straight into work mode – and when you find your focus straying, remove yourself from the room. Who said we can’t perform Pavlovian conditioning on our own brains?!