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The State of Your Attention Determines the State of Your Life

[yikes-mailchimp form=”1″ title=”1″ description=”1″]Everything in life has an opportunity cost. The opportunity cost of distraction is time, energy, and effort that would otherwise be spent on activities that have that potential to change your life for the better.  Poor attention management decreases the quality of almost every area of your life:  It contributes to anxiety and depression, decreases your productivity, and makes your relationships and c comfortable with 20 minutes,  increase it by 25 minutes and so on. The 20-20-20 rule: “Every twenty minutes take a twenty-second break and focus on objects twenty feet away. This changes your focal distance from inches to many feet and requires blood flow to brain areas that are not related to constant attention” says Adam Gazalley in his book The Distracted Mind

Be Mindful of How you Spend Downtime The quality of your breaks matters. If for example, you focus on something for an hour, get into flow, and take a break to check email or look at Facebook, the whole cycle of getting back in the zone starts all over again. The way you spend your downtime has a significant impact on your ability to manage your attention.  If you spend it letting your attention shift from one pointless distraction to another, you’re going to have a hard time focusing when it’s time to sit down and focus. Or as

Cal Newport said to me in our interview on Unmistakable Creative, it’s the cognitive equivalent of being an athlete who smokes. What’s the opportunity cost of [yikes-mailchimp form=”1″ title=”1″ description=”1″]distraction in your life? Time with friends, being present with your family members, accomplishing your most important goals? It’s worth considering whether the payoff is worth the opportunity cost of squandering the precious currency of your attention.

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