Time to publish another installment of the weekly “Monday Moving Forward” series, a series in which we post, surprisingly, only Mondays, because that’s when we have more chances to feel unmotivated. Mondays have a bad reputation, and, to a certain extent, it’s justified. That’s why I decided to try out various approaches, tips and tricks to get unstuck faster and, for the ones who actually work, to share them.
Today, let’s talk a bit about filtering out the noise.
Which boils down to a much more important question: “what is noise and what is really important?”.
Despite our very good opinion about ourselves, we have a very limited attention surface. It’s very rare that we can focus on two things at a time (although we may fake it by switching focus very rapidly). This wouldn’t be a very big deal, if we wouldn’t take decisions based on our own input. So, if focus is limited, our decisions are usually bad, or at least incomplete.
Increasing the attention surface would be ideal. Enlarging our capacity to process information in a sustainable way would helps us tremendously in deciding which way we should go (generally speaking). But this is a lengthy process. It’s a mind training activity that should be sustained for many years until we start to see its benefits. I think in some circles this mind training technique might be caled “meditation”, but don’t take my word for it.
Another option, less effective, but at least affordable, would be to lower the noise, to let into our systems only what’s relevant. This way, we may increase the amount of useful information, which, in turn, will lead to better decision making.
So, what should be considered noise on a Monday morning?
Repetitive thoughts. Worries. Watching news that’s not really needed (outside traffic info and weather, news is not really needed, it’s a created attachment, but we already talked about that in another blog post). Unnecessary phone calls. Looking at your todo list more than once and worrying that you’ll not be able to do anything form it today. Daydreaming. Long meetings. Shallow conversations. Anger. Frustration.
If you happen to do, in a consistent way, some, or all of the above on a Monday morning, just try out a few mornings without that. Make a note of which of them you’re actually engaging in, and look at this first thing in the morning.
It may not work from the first Monday, or even from the third, or the fourth, but at least by trying and feeding this habit, you will be more aware where is your energy hijacked.