Everything wants your attention, but what deserves your attention?
Everything in today’s world wants our eyeballs.
The news makes us all terrified.
Social media makes us afraid that we’re missing out.
Another inflamed argument on Facebook grabs your attention.
This is a never-ending loop we all fall into: reading things that don’t enhance our lives.
Sure, it’s important to stay informed on the world and what’s happening, but when it is during a time you should be working, it’s only a negative.
Steve Kamb over at Nerd Fitness made a great post about this topic, and it’s something I haven’t stopped thinking about since reading it.
After working for a few years in marketing, I have intimate knowledge of how companies go the extra mile to get our attention.
It’s debatable how ethical some of the ways are, but the main thing to know is that they’re doing it all the time.
I get it, companies need to make sales.
However, you need to be just as tough with your time as they are with their tactics.
Of course Facebook wants you on their site 24/7.
Of course ads are meant to be ridiculous to get your attention.
Of course Tinder wants you to be on there swiping your thumbs off instead of actually out in the world meeting people face to face.
What deserves your attention?
That’s the big question: Which of these things deserve your attention?
That’s what I’ve asked myself when I find myself deep in something that has my attention.
Will this distraction contribute to your legacy?
Nothing comes before your legacy work
Whatever it is you want to be known for and contribute to society, there is nothing in the world more important than that.
I always remember that humans have survived an incredibly long time before now without the internet and without these distractions. So, no, that article is probably not going to change my life.
(But keep checking in on this blog, please. 🙂 )
Nothing comes before your goals this year
If you’ve planned out your year (I have post on this: here), then you already know what needs to be done.
You know what you need to focus on this month, this week, this day, and this hour.
Keep those goals next to your computer at all times so you stay focused on what matters.
Side note: If you need more tips on staying focused when you’re online, here’s a great post from the Art of Manliness on setting up systems to make it happen.
Does it actually contribute to your life?
There’s an argument to be made for doing activities that make you happy.
Maybe you have a favorite YouTuber, TV show, book, or group of friends you love to hang out with.
You should absolutely include those things in your life (only after you finish your work).
However, we all also make too much time for the things that don’t make us happy.
- Checking in on people on social media that we don’t care about.
- Reading news articles that have a clear bias and are out to make you intentionally angry (aka every single political article in America this year).
- Seeing what your ex is up to on Instagram.
- Feeding the rage machine online.
- Consuming useless content that provides no actual value.
- Hanging out with people you can’t stand.
All of those things need to be deleted from your life as often as possible
None of those deserve your attention, not now and not ever.
Every time you find yourself distracted, pull yourself back to what matters and remind yourself WHY you want the goals you want.