Learn to Manage Your Attention, and Managing Time Will Take Care of Itself.

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This curated column is authored by Srinivas Rao, Founder, unmistakablecreative.com

A key habit I’ve noticed in successful people repeatedly, is that they are ruthless in managing what they pay attention to.

Sources of distraction today are plentiful and with everything becoming digitized, are only exponentially increasing. I’m sorry to be crass, but your mind is like an egg, ripe for fertilization and every ping, push notification, email, call, text…is yet one more opportunity for your mind to be literally penetrated.

We have a dozen social networks that are so woven into the fabric of our daily lives that using them is as habitual as brushing our teeth. There are millions of websites ranging from mild entertainment to intellectual porn (articles like this, that make us feel we’re doing something when we’re just consuming). Our perpetual exposure to digital stimuli has gone far beyond what evolution intended.

Walk through the airport, a mall, a grocery store or even a bar on a Saturday night and it’s not uncommon to see people looking at their phones.

  • If we’re at dinner with one other person and they go to the bathroom, we tend to check our phones.
  • If we’re in line anywhere, we look at our phones
  • The kids at the Starbucks near my parent’s house text each other from across the store.

This behavior has become so normal to us that we’ve more or less stopped considering the potential negative consequences. But after numerous conversations with educators, psychologists, and social scientists, I’m quite convinced that distraction is at the root of many of our personal and professional problems.

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1. Distraction Kills Your Ability to be Present

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