This week … this week is a busy week. It’s a first week back at my University – I’m doing a part time Master’s, and also I’m involved with several student societies, so have been doing lots of organising and emailing and agonising and planning and thinking and generally having 17 different things going on at once. Although I’m feeling relatively relaxed and okay about this because hey, last year I was doing all this and studying FULL-TIME which was much more stressful.
Thinking about all of this has pushed me towards a book … ‘get everything done and still have time to play’, by Mark Forster. It isn’t mine; my husband bought it and then (I believe) never got round to reading it. Which seems slightly ironic. But I read it, and found it useful, and would generally recommend it – it’s very useful and very generally applicable, mostly because it gives a real focus to how you manage your attention and concentration. And managing your attention and concentration is relevant whatever you are doing in life (as opposed to some time-management books which only apply to certain specific subgroups of society).
The thought I want to pick out of it to share with you is this:
“Sufficient regular focused attention is the key to success”
“Attention needs to be focused … leaping back and forth … continually being distracted or withdrawn … is not sufficient. Attention must be focused to be effective.”
“It needs to be regular. Anything that does not get regular attention will start to change for the worse … If attention is only spasmodic then the results will be only spasmodic at best”
“It needs to be sufficient … If a project is given insufficient attention then we lose out on two counts – first, we will not achieve our aims for that project and, second, we will have wasted attention that we could have used to forward some other project.”
(This is discussed on pages 69-70, if you’ve got hold of a copy of the book).
This stuff is so, so true.
This, I think, is what I really need to keep in mind this year – and in particular in the next month or so as I start off trying to work out how to juggle all these balls. There are so many things that I am doing that are important to me – being married, my work, my studies, my church involvement, my societal involvement x3, writing blogs, and all the boring but necessary things like housework and travelling and so on … and it’s pretty imperative that I don’t bite off more than I can chew and take on anything more!
Sufficient regular focused attention. If you can give everything that you are doing sufficient regular focused attention, you are doing well. And whatever it is you are doing, you will be doing it well.
And when you can get everything to work like that, it feels kind of awesome.
How many different balls are you juggling at the moment? What do you find helps you to deal with it all? Any comments or stories would be great 🙂 leave me a comment!