How I Got My Attention Back

Craig Mod on consciously creating rules to re-strengthen his capacity to pay attention. Excerpts:

There are a thousand beautiful ways to start the day that don’t begin with looking at a phone. And yet so few of us choose to do so.

Today, I could live on Twitter all day, everyday, convincing myself I was being productive. Or, at least inducing the chemicals in the mind that make me feel like I’m being productive. … Largely pushing nothing in the world forward.

The internet goes off before bed. The internet doesn’t return until after lunch. That’s it. Reasonable rules. I’m too weak to handle the unreasonable.

So I deploy blunt, simple tools. Time boxed disconnection has proven to be both generative and — most importantly — sustainable.

Wherever you fall on the spectrum of leveraging the network for social good, having control over your attention can only make your efforts stronger. I refuse to believe otherwise. Take the morning. Hell, just take the first hour of the morning. Make a plan. Own your attention.

Attention is a muscle. It must be exercised. Though, attention is duplicitous — it doesn’t feel like a muscle. And exercising it doesn’t result in an appreciably healthier looking body. But it does result in a sense of grounding, feeling rational, control of your emotions — a healthy mind.

4:42 pm on December 26, 2018