My Day – Proactive, Active and Inactive Attention

26/10/2012 |

Graham Allcott is the owner / director of Think Productive UK, a UK productivity training and email training company






It’s important to be aware of your changing attention levels throughout the day

It helps you plan your tasks and make best use of your time.

MORNING: I don’t wake up easily and I’m not much of a morning person. I take a while to get going in the mornings, so first thing, my mind is a bit foggy and I need either a coffee or at least a good idea from a plan I wrote in a previous period of proactive attention to get any momentum going.

MID-MORNING: From then on, I’m pretty fresh for a good couple of hours. I’ll hopefully use this time to make the big decisions that day.

LUNCH: This then tails off before lunch, and during lunch itself.

Day 2 - Boring

EARLY AFTERNOON: After lunch, most people are sluggish. Trust me, I run workshops and give talks that often start at this time, commonly known in the training and speaking world as ‘the graveyard slot’ for this reason.

LATE AFTERNOON: What’s interesting for me is that then I tend to have a little spurt of very positive proactive attention, before tailing off again. And often the impending end of a workday encourages some added focus, which comes at a cost because as soon as this tails off I’m completely knackered and good for nothing more.

How much proactive attention time do I have here?

Less than you think. Two to three hours a day, Monday to Thursday, and just one and a half to two  hours on a Friday.

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