Can I have your attention please

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My inbox overflows. I’m sure yours does too.

In his book “The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 technological forces that will shape our future”, Kevin Kelly gives a fascinating insight into attention that grabbed umm… my attention.

“Our attention is the only valuable resource we can personally produce without training. It is in short supply and everyone wants some of it. You can stop sleeping altogether and you will still only have 24 hours per day of potential attention. Absolutely nothing – no money or technology – will ever increase that amount”.

“Yet for being so precious, our attention is relatively inexpensive. It is cheap, in part, because we have to give it away each day. We can’t save it up or hoard it. We have to spend it second by second, in real time.”

In her inspiring book, “Hunch: Turn your everyday insights into the next big thing”, Bernadette Jiwa  asks us to consider how many hours each day we devote to consuming, reacting and responding to the inputs of others via email and social networks versus time devoted to creating, thinking and questioning?

She says, “Technology is hijacking our minds. As a result, we’re noticing less and missing more. We’re not just missing opportunities; we’re throwing away the chance to think and reflect – to be the kind of person who sees ways to make things better. Distraction is the enemy of insight.”

I used to ask myself the question – “Is this worth my time?” After reading Kevin Kelly’s book, I’ve started asking – “Is this worthy of my attention?” I believe this new question is better. I’m looking for value from that “spent” attention.

In this information-rich world, my mind gets filled with (when I’m intentional about it) what I hope is worthy-content (books, blogs, podcasts, video etc.). Bernadette Jiwa has given me a new perspective on this. If I am always consuming other’s content what time/attention is left for my own thoughts and questions?

6 thoughts on “Can I have your attention please

    1. Hey Debbie – thank you for reading and commenting. Oh it’s an ongoing challenge for me too which is why I liked Bernadette Jiwa’s thought on how that used-up time, takes up the attention I could use to work on my own thoughts and ideas. The dilemma is that there is just so much great stuff to read and watch…


  1. Love it, Jacquie. You put more value on your attention than your time. Recently, I turned off all my mobile phone notifications (except my banking app – security) and got into the habit of checking emails, messages, WhatsApp, etc, just three times a day at the start, early afternoon and early evening. Puts you in control of your time and attention, allows you to skim through everything methodically and select what requires your attention, now or later. It made a big difference.


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