Your Attention is Valuable (To Big Business)
Your attention is valuable literally and figuratively. Where you direct your attention dictates the direction of your life so that’s the most obvious thing I mean when I say your attention is valuable. But what I’m really referring to is the value (aka money) that platforms are making by keeping your attention on their website. Your attention is currency and the longer you spend on a website dictates the price the platform can charge advertisers to market to you. Therefore, platforms do everything within their power to keep you there e.g. Facebook, Youtube, Netflix… you know the drill.
The Attention Resistance Movement
A concept I came across a few years ago was The Attention Resistance Movement. A novel idea in this day and age, it purports that you keep control over your attention through being selective and intentional with how you spend your attention. Cal Newport is another person I’ve learned alot from through his book and writings on Deep Work, Digital Minimalism and A World without Email.
Blocking Distracting Apps and Websites
I’ve spent alot of time exploring free time trackers and warning apps where I set a limit to how long I spend on social media or youtube. I get a notification when I am in the middle of browsing and I do what everyone does… I dismiss the app and change my time limit and continue scrolling!
Freedom.to costs about 2 euro a month and It’s SERIOUS. You cannot dismiss it, it gives you no warning and you can’t cheat it. Therefore your higher more intelligent self who set the time limit outsmarts the evening scrolling addict more often than not.
How I Use Freedom.to
In recent times, I’ve become very serious about my time and attention. I knew only too well the bad habits that I tended to do at different times during the day. I used to check Facebook “for my business” and come back 30 minutes later having scrolled. I’d check the Journal (even though I hate it) “because it’s good to know what’s going on in the world”. I’d check my emails in the morning and delay my meditation, sometimes skipping it. I’d scroll on Instagram at night because “it’s ok to have leisure time” and end up staying up very very late.
So here’s how I’ve used Freedom.to
1. I block the whole internet in the morning until 8.30am and at night after 9pm. During those times, I can still access my WhatsApp, phone, messages, calendar, to-do list and google maps (just in case!).
2. I block social media (and the tabloid that is the Journal.ie) everyday except from 3-4pm which is when I do admin. Honestly, I’m usually in work mode then, so I scroll very little. If I have tasks to do e.g. check in on my client’s instagram before we meet, I write it on my list and do it during that admin hour.
3. That’s all for now. If I notice any other websites taking too much of my attention, I will implement more rules, but so far so good with these 2 big rules.
That’s it for now. Go forth and be successful with managing your attention in our distracting world!
By Ciara Bruton, Holistic Business Coach.
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