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    Posts tagged 'Success'

    What is attention management? A modern twist on a nineteenth century productivity secret

    September 16, 2019 51 Views No comments

    If you know about my new book, you have likely been introduced to the term “attention management.” Although the phrase existed before I started using it, it was not used in relation to productivity. In fact, it was not particularly relevant or useful to our everyday lives.

    Attention management is at the very heart of my work as a speaker, trainer, and author. Attention management is really just like it sounds—managing your attention.

    My definition of it is a little more specific. I define it as the practice of creating the conditions that allow you to intentionally engage the most optimal brain state to achieve your best results in the moment.


    A 19th Century Take on Attention Management

    A psychologist and philosopher in the 19th century, William James, was an advocate of the ideas behind attention management. He wrote: “[Attention] is the taking possession by the mind, in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought.”

    Here, the key word is “one.” No one can give their attention simultaneously to all of the things that demand it. Attention management allows you to be more proactive than reactive. It means you decide where your attention goes instead of letting outside demands decide it for you.

    William James suggested that attention management gives you the ability to maintain control over your thoughts and actions, rather than inadvertently relinquishing this control.


    Attention Management Helps You Live a Life of Choice Rather Than a Life of Reaction and Distraction

    Today, you can use attention management as a defense against the damage our fast-paced, technology-rich environment does to our mind, body, and soul. It’s also essential for achieving your most significant results daily, so that you can stay in control of your days, and therefore ultimately, your life.

    You might wonder if attention management is just “focus.” But you can think of it as the collective practice of a group of behaviors, including focus, concentration, mindfulness, presence, and flow. It offers the ability to consciously direct your attention in any given moment despite distractions, to be more proactive than reactive, and to maintain control over your thoughts, rather than inadvertently relinquishing control.

    Attention management is the antidote to everything in our environment that sabotages our attention. We live in a fast-paced, “always-on” society, and that has negative consequences for our ability and efforts to be productive.

    Attention management is the key to controlling distractions, maximizing focus, and becoming engaged in “flow.” It helps you to be present in the moment, whether that be at work or at leisure. It helps you to maximize your brain power and your unique skills to bring your best self to the moment—what I call “unleashing your genius.”


    Our Attention Determines the Life We Lead

    Another quote from William James: “My experience is what I agree to attend to.” Your attention determines the experiences you have, and the experiences you have determine the life you live. This implies that you must control your attention to control your life. Productivity is basically about directing your activities to do more of the things that are important to you. Attention management is the logical path to get you there.

    Being able to control your attention requires practice. You’ll be more successful on some days than on others. Managing your attention depends on several factors. It’s not just about distraction.

    While attention management is a skill to be developed, there are also physiological factors. Sleep, nutrition, and hydration play an important part in your ability to control your attention, also. When these important elements are neglected, your focus, productivity level, and ability to avoid distractions will also suffer.


    Single Focus Instead of Multi-Task to Increase Effectiveness

    Attention management is the idea that how you spend your time is relevant only to the extent that you also devote your attention, because time spent on a task with divided attention is much less effective than time spent focused on the task without interruption.

    To be sure, traditional “time management” theory still contains useful concepts, such as making lists, setting goals, and prioritizing tasks. It’s the practical application of these ideas that fail the test of time, and most time management training has not been updated to keep up with modern technology and the increasing pace of business. Distraction is the single biggest problem for knowledge workers today. Attention management is the skill we need in our modern, technology-driven society.

    -Maura Nevel Thomas


    If you want to learn more about Attention Management, click here!

    A version of this article originally appeared on maurathomas.com.

    You can preview and purchase the book here>>

    You Can Do Anything You Set Your Mind To!

    August 27, 2019 76 Views No comments

    How long have you struggled with a goal or tried to achieve success, never to see it happen? Have you stopped to think why? There is a way to win, and it begins with a strong and positive mindset. Our newest release, 88 Days to Any Goal, shows that magic can happen when you're fully committed!

    Why 88 Days?

    Research has shown that people tend to work harder when they're closer to their goals. This means that with every step you take towards your goal, the harder you'll push yourself to get there. To ensure that you're taking necessary action, you need to set up a system that you follow consistently. It can take close to 88 days to fully implement a system, and during that time, the behaviors and actions you take will become habits. Those habits are what set you up for success. Here are three steps to help you get started:


    1. Follow the Critical Few
    When going after a goal, there are many good, trivial things you can do to inch forward. However, in order to succeed, there are only 2-3 things you must absolutely do if you want to reach your goal. How can you determine what these critical few items are?

    Action: First, write down your objective, being as specific as possible. Next, list out all the steps you think you'll need to take to reach your goal. For each step, write down the daily habits and behaviors you'll have to follow. Finally, review this list and circle the top 2-3 things that are most critical.


    2. Face Challenges to Your Goal
    As you start working towards your goal, it's important to think about the road ahead and what obstacles you might find. When you are aware of potential challenges, you can prepare with possible solutions.

    Action: Take a moment to write down challenges you think you may face as you get closer to your goal. For each challenge that you identify, write down a solution to help you through.


    3. Plan, Do, Review and Adjust
    Although it can be very exciting to start on the path towards a new goal, it's the day-to-day behaviors that will actually get you there, which means focusing on your plan.

    Action: Make sure to review your plan weekly, make adjustments as you go along, and continue following it. Ask yourself if there are gaps that you can fill with activities that support your goal, and confirm that your schedule is focusing on those critical few items.


    Start your 88 day plan with 88 Days to Any Goal>>






    Turn Expectations Upside Down

    August 13, 2019 89 Views No comments

    Unconventional companies turn traditional business practice on its head by using the element of surprise, questioning the status quo, and recognizing that both employees and customers want meaning. The Unconventionals gives you a peak at some of the simple practices shared by these rebel companies that have allowed them to change markets, hearts and minds. Here are four of them to help you get started:

    1. Within any market, there are opportunities to shift or reinvent the market because there are areas that need disruption. Action: Think about your market - are there ruts where everyone unquestioningly follows what has always been done?
    2. The change that you're trying to create has to benefit both you and your customers, and it should favor what your company does best. Action: Think about the role you want your brand to play in the market and ask yourself: What do you stand for (i.e. what do you give to the world that is unique to your company)? What are you taking on (i.e. what is the problem you're trying to solve for your buyers that creates bigger change)?
    3. Within every market there is a segment of influential people who believe in changing the status quo. These are known as "crazies" - people who aren't fanatics about your products, but rather who care deeply about other things that can overlap with your company's purpose. Action: Think about your company's purpose - which group of passionate potential customers could you be helping out?
    4. What makes companies unconventional is that they're willing to challenge how things have always been done. Are you ready to do the same? Action: Take out a pen and paper or dry erase board and start doubting what everyone holds as true. Imagine the possibilities and challenge the things that have made others successful. Think for yourself. Be unconventional.


    Learn more ways you can think like The Unconvetionals>>

    Dreams Don’t Happen; Dreams Are Made

    August 6, 2019 314 Views No comments

    How many times have you heard no? According to Forbes, 92% of people fail to reach their goals. This means that at some point, we all try and fail. However, rather than accept defeat, you can make your dreams a reality by pushing forward through rejection. Doing this requires transforming your mindset and igniting your passion. Don’t wait for your dreams to come true – make them happen!

    The 12-steps from Create Your Yes! can lead you to the path of success. Here are four of them to help get you started:

    1. Make Progress Your Primary Target
    A Columbia Business School study showed that people tend to work harder when they are closer to their goals. This means that in order to accomplish the big wins, you need daily wins to help push you towards your goal.

    Action: Write down daily or weekly goals that are within your control to accomplish. Focus on making progress and you will reach your milestones.


    2. Determine Cheetah Goals vs. Gazelle Goals
    As you work on making your goals a reality, there generally comes a time when you find yourself making no progress, no matter how hard you try. When you make it to this point, you need to stop and rethink your strategy by determining whether you need speed, like a cheetah, or stamina, like a gazelle.

    Action: Ask yourself what your ultimate objective is and what is required to make it happen. Creating a new blog post each week is a cheetah goal, requiring speed, while making a business plan from scratch is a gazelle goal that needs time and persistence.


    3. Create the Way to Make It Happen
    Following the status quo keeps things comfortable, but prevents growth and change. So to make things happen, you need to push past "business as usual".

    Action: When taking on a rejected goal or unfinished task, erase what you know and instead focus on your instincts. What direction is your gut telling you to take? Then, explore and pursue innovation solutions - that includes giving yourself permission to try the impossible.


    4. Bulletproof Your Mind
    According to the Mayo Clinic, there are many benefits to thinking positively, including greater achievement, higher persistence, better psychological and physical well-being and lower stress levels. Changing your mindset from a scarcity mindset ("it's never enough") to an abundance mindset ("there are possibilities everywhere") will allow you to see meaning in both your life goals and everyday tasks.

    Action: Think about a current goal. Is it built on integrity, creativity and enthusiasm? If not, what can you do to change this?

    For the rest of the 12 steps to success, check out Create Your Yes!>>

    Celebrate National Be a Millionaire Day!

    May 10, 2019 479 Views No comments

    National Be a Millionaire Day (observed May 20th) is about taking steps to turn dreams into reality by making plans for your future. And what better way to get into the success mindset than with the modern-day bestselling classic, Think and Grow Rich! Author Napoleon Hill draws on stories from Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and more than 500 other wealthy people to teach simple and practical techniques for achieving great and lasting success with nothing but thoughts, ideas, and organized plans.

    Hill delves into a method for changing your desire for riches into its financial equivalent with these six steps:

    FIRST. Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say, “I want plenty of money.” Be definite as to the amount.

    SECOND. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. (There is no such reality as “something for nothing.”)

    THIRD. Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.

    FOURTH. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.

    FIFTH. Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire, name the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.

    SIXTH. Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night and once after arising in the morning.

    To delve deeper into these principals, download the FREE Discussion Guide>>

    For more on transforming your desires into riches, read The Five Essential Principals of Think and Grow Rich>>


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