Monday, August 1, 2016 20 Comments
Keeping our Attention on Intention
Accountability check-ins for purposeful follow-through
© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
The Link between Attention and Intention
Many qualities and skills combine to produce successful follow-through. Today, we are going to focus on the importance of attention.
If you ever hope to stop scratching your head or beating yourself up over your struggles with staying on track and getting things done, understanding the implications of the concept of attention is foundational.
Every single technique I have developed, coached and taught over the last 25+ years has been structured with the underlying goal of strengthening the attentional muscles – or compensating for them when they are weak.
No matter what your most frustrating problem is: clutter-management or up-front organization, making yourself start or procrastinating at the back end, time or mood management — and a whole host of other challenges — underneath them all is a problem with attention allocation and management.
So let’s get to it!
As I said in Brain Waves, Scans and ATTENTION — One of the goals of comprehensive brain-based ADD Coaching is to identify areas where our clients can improve on the intentional direction of attentive awareness. Nobody gets much done if they can’t focus very well on what they’re attempting to DO.
As our attention meanders from distraction to competing priority our willpower seems to drain away, leaving us wanting nothing so much as a vacation or a nap!
And then we turn on ourselves, beating ourselves up with negative thoughts and comments we’d never say to another living soul.
In case you missed it in Why Accountability Leads to Follow Through, it’s not that we’re lazy or lack sufficient motivation, even though many of us have been accused of exactly that, far too many times.
It’s that few of us realize that, no matter how strong our initial commitment, will-power requires cognitive bandwidth that is limited in supply. Just like a a muscle, it can only be exercised for so long – and handle so much – before it gives out.
We see the negative effects most dramatically in the citizens of Alphabet City, whose attentional “muscles” aren’t as strong to begin with. However, we can ALL use a little wind beneath our wings to help us keep on keepin’ on.
Related Post: From Impulsivity to Self-Control
Unfortunately, it becomes difficult to impossible to reach that happy state of managing our attention with intentionality until we understand what it is, exactly, that we are attempting to manage.