Attention Management in a Chaotic World

Attention Management in a Chaotic World

I was so happy for a day of spring over the weekend. After a rainy Saturday morning, we had a gorgeous Sunday. I took my dog, Bella, to an Agility Camp early in the morning on Sunday. She loved getting to run the course and work off some energy. On Sunday afternoon, my husband and I went for a walk in the woods with our dogs, Rosie and Bella. What a joy to be outside and breathe.

Here is the 3-2-1 Chaos Buster for this week. My topic? ATTENTION MANAGEMENT!

If you have watched the Disney movie UP, you have seen how the dogs are distracted every time a squirrel passes. I currently feel like I have a ton of squirrels in my day.

So how do we manage our attention during chaos?

Albert Einstein says,

Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.

My Three Chaos Buster Thoughts

  1. Family Management: These are challenging days. An unprecedented number of adults are working from home (or have been furloughed). Children are home 24/7, some learning how to be educated via online classes. Our everyday lives have shifted dramatically. My advice is to plan your day! Do not stress with complicated or inflexible schedules. Limit extremely high expectations. Do have a plan for the day, though. It amazes me how quickly time flies when I do not have a rough draft of my day.
  2. Home Management: I have to admit that the other day I lost my temper when a pile of Rubbermaid storage containers fell over under my cabinet. That falling pile started a cascade effect, and suddenly my 1-minute task of putting leftovers away became a 30-minute task of sorting and organizing my containers. I am sure that this was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but HOW EMBARRASSING. Block off time for home management, dishes, floors, laundry. I try to do one hour in the morning and 30-minutes at night. On Saturday, I create a menu for the week and make sure I have the groceries available for those meals. Have your partner and children help out according to their abilities. I know how hard it is to put blinders on with a messy kitchen when you are always at home but remember to let go of a few expectations. I have been married for 30+ years, and my husband still does not fold towels the way I do.
  3. Business Management: Are you suddenly working from a home office? Are you trying to grow your business? It can feel impossible to focus on your goals. What are your peak productivity hours? Mine are between 1 – 4 p.m. I set those hours aside for my business. This time is when inspiration flows, and I am most creative. Analyze your time, set aside peak hours for your work. Turn off the phone and emails during this time.

My Two Chaos Buster Inspirations

  1. I was reading the Harvard Business Review. Maura Thomas had written an article called, Is It Even Possible to Focus on Anything Right Now?” Maura writes, “Practicing attention management is about maintaining control of where your attention goes and recognizing when it’s being stolen, either by external distractions or internal errant thoughts, rumination, or anxiety.”
  2. Be mindful of your tech. It is so easy to spend hours on social media and suddenly find yourself short on time. I am currently reading The Future of Feeling: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World. In this book, author Kaitlin Phillips shares stories about moving innovation and technology forward without succumbing to isolation. The Future of Feeling seems pertinent in this time of separation. It teaches how to focus on the important without giving in to the noise.

One Action Item

Take a look at your calendar. Plan your ideal week. Your perfect weekly plan may shift, but the effort you put into the project will help you be more productive and gain clarity.

Do you want to be more intentional with your planning? Find out more at

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