Category Archives: attention management

Conscious Computing

Personal technologies today are prosthetics for our minds.   Our opportunity is to create personal technologies that are prosthetics for our beings.  Conscious computing is post-productivity, post-communication era computing.  Personal technologies that enhance our lives.  Personal technologies that are prosthetics of our full human potential.

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Filed under attention, attention management, breathe, breathing, continuous partial attention, distraction, email apnea, health, O'Reilly Radar, O'Reilly Media, screen apnea, stress, technology

More on Intentions and Goals

Thank you for the interesting comments and insights on intentions vs. goals.   In thinking about this today, I realized —

Intentions happen in the present.  Goals are about the future.

Where does behavior change?  In the present.

Where does intention come from?   For me, goals come from the mind.  Intentions from the heart, from emotion, from feeling.

Can one choose to have an intention or must it emerge more naturally?

How does this relate to attention?  Intention is the most powerful force driving attention.

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Filed under attention, attention management, engaged

Screens R Us: When to Take a Break

Someone always stops me in the hall at a conference or asks anxiously after a talk:  How much time should I spend in front of a screen? At what point should I pull back and take a break?  Should I stop every 30 or 45 minutes?

My response is always the same:  How do you feel?  Your body is wiser than your mind in these matters.

The challenge is, most of us, especially the brainy future thinking high tech types, tend to favor the inclinations of the mind.  The mind, for many of us, is often tyrannical towards the body.  “Just stay up 3 more hours.   One more all-nighter.   A Red Bull or two and I’ll meet this deadline!  No walk until this paper is done…”

Our always-on lifestyle has favored thinking and doing.  As we move toward a lifestyle that seeks quality of life, we’ll find ourselves valuing sensing and feeling.   We see the first signs of this in the various food related movements that are gaining popularity:  slow foods, Farmer’s Markets, and preferences for artisanal and  local organic foods.

The operative questions are: How do I feel?  What would feel better?    These questions can help create a flexible, flowing workstyle that will enable the wisdom of both body and mind to come through in everything we do.

This piece also appeared on the Huffington Post.

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Filed under attention management, email apnea, health, Huffington Post, reflection, screen apnea, stress, technology, Uncategorized

When Distraction is Good

Distraction and procrastination come in a variety of flavors.  I’ve noticed that when I’m “distracted,” and I walk over and stare out the window, it’s a very different experience than when I feed the distraction by cramming in a few emails or make a phone call.

How often do you let your mind wander?  Are you able to give up the list in your head when you’re cooking or in the shower or taking a walk?  It’s no accident that new ideas pop into our heads when we least expect it.  In our enthusiasm to be productive, we forget to give our mind/body moments to be “receptive” — that is, open to daydreaming, open to letting our minds wander.

I call these different approaches receptive and deceptive distraction.  A longer post can be found here or here.

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Filed under attention, attention management, continuous partial attention, distraction, reflection