Attention
1 min read

Attention

Attention is the most important resource we hold today.

What we pay attention to today is influenced by the work we do, social media apps we scroll, WhatsApp groups we are part of (grudgingly), media around us and stories people narrate.

If you let yourself be kicked around by the proverbial attention football it can get awfully draining with no half-time to help.

Almost everything that we consume on a screen is carefully created to hold your attention. The success metrics of OTTs like Netflix is the million hours consumed collectively by humans across the globe. That's their north star metric.

Our attention is up against focused execution of engineers, designers and content creators.

Exercising self control may seem like a revolutionary act.

While we can try exercising will power and reduce our screen time it is not a long term solution.

The screen time is a lagging indicator and if you try and reduce it you will end up playing catchup.

Instead what I recommend is getting deliberate with your attention. Treat it like a resource that is scarce. When you pay attention to 30 minutes of scrolling on Twitter you are losing that 30 minutes to do much more meaningful activity.

Being deliberate is a conscious choice you need to make every day. You need to get out of the auto pilot mode and make choices that influence your consumption. It is not going to be easy to be deliberate always. You will want to have cheat sessions or days and that's okay. It's important to get back to being deliberate.

When you do this you don't need to measure your success by a metric like reduced screen time. The result will show up in the number of activities that you can pick up compared to when you were not being deliberate.