Our natural response to maximising business success is to spend more time driving sales, nurturing clients, and improving our products or services. It is hard to believe the results we seek will come from anything less than many hours of tireless grafting—a notion epitomised by the popular phrase “time is money”. But the belief that the amount of time we spend is directly related to the level of success we achieve is a false one, which in reality sets in motion a perpetuating cycle that drains our energy reserves and limits our ability to achieve new heights. What Benjamin Franklin’s famous phrase fails to get across is that it is not solely the unit of time itself that equates to money, but how you spend such time and where you focus your attention.

In business, the idea of placing attention over time is crucial to moving forward, although it is much more easily said than done. In this article, we will explore how to use attention more effectively, to ultimately free up time and energy to spend how you please, enjoying quality time with your family, fancying your chances with some football betting, or focusing on growing your business.
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   by  Stew Dean 

Avoid Information Overload

Over the past 10 years we have created more information than in all of human history prior; newspaper articles, advertisements, TV programmes, tweets, Facebook posts and YouTube videos, are all sources of information we unwittingly absorb in our day-to-day lives. However, the presence of information overload runs much deeper, as Daniel Levitin, author of ‘The Organised Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload’, demonstrates using the example of shopping in a supermarket and the amount of choice we have to try and compute.

With mounds of information for the brain to process, it is unsurprising that information overload is the cause of a lot of wasted mental energy. By becoming conscious of the information we consume, we can limit our input to only what is necessary, in turn saving precious mental energy and improving our capacity for innovation, productivity, and decision making.

This can be done by eliminating all external distractions from the workplace. A great place to start is with email. Studies have shown the average person checks their emails 15 times a day, with the optimal number of times, in order to limit stress, being only three. Reducing distractions like these and focusing our uninterrupted attention on important tasks, decreases the level of oxygen required by the brain and, thus, increases the ability to focus and problem-solve among other things.

by  ** RCB ** 

Combat Decision Fatigue

It is said that we only possess so much decision making ability, or ‘units’, per day. However, many of these units are spent making a decision and should be factored into the overall cost of said decision. In the case of Levitin’s supermarket example, if you spend half-an-hour of your day choosing what type of cereal you want, the real cost of the cereal you choose is actually much more than the price tag implies. Therefore, spend less attention units on such low-risk choices, and you will have an abundance of units for when they are really needed. Those crucial, business and life-changing decisions.

A great way to do this is by creating a standardised routine that you follow every morning. Starting the day with having to decide what tie to where, or what to have for breakfast, impedes decision making ability for the day ahead, and yet can easily be removed from the equation with a bit of planning ahead.

Attention is our most valuable currency. It is sold to advertisement agencies by the minute. And yet we squander it through watching soap operas, or falling down the rabbit hole on YouTube. By placing a higher value on our attention and consciously being aware of where it is placed, it is possible to use our time to greater effect, and as we all know, time is money.

This is a guest post by Roisin Byrne, check out the Buiness Boutique for more information.

This article has been provided by Theodore Thomas as part of his cheaper home series.

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