What we’re paying attention to today

I think of two paragraphs on Attention from Eric Weiner’s book – “The Geography of Bliss” – from time to time.

“Attention’ is an underrated word. It doesn’t get the… well, the attention it deserves. We pay homage to love, and happiness, and, God knows, productivity, but rarely do we have anything good to say about attention. We’re too busy, I suspect. Yet our lives are empty and meaningless without attention.

My two-year-old daughter fusses at my feet as I type these words. What does she want? My love? Yes, in a way, but what she really wants is my attention. Pure, undiluted attention. Children are expert at recognizing counterfeit attention. Perhaps love and attention are really the same thing. One can’t exist without the other.”

The quote “show me your schedule and I’ll show you your priorities” has the right idea. Our schedule is a reflection of what we pay attention to.

What are we paying attention to today?

Show me your schedule

A friend of mine has an hour set aside every week for a priorities check. During this hour, she goes through her past week’s schedule. This schedule is color coded with every event tagged to her various priorities. She adds up the hours she spends on various activities to get to the time spent per priority. If she is spending less hours on her top priority in comparison with the next two, she knows it is time to change tactics.

If there is a better way to check on our ability to prioritize, I don’t know of it yet. I plan to incorporate this idea into my life as well.

We are what we do. And, our priorities are never what they say are. Show me your schedule… and I’ll show you your priorities.