I waste hours a day scrolling on social media and news feeds when I should be doing other things. I don't know where my time goes.
I'm constantly interrupted by emails, texts, people asking questions... The last time I had a focused hour to myself was in 1998.
Whenever I start to focus, I think of what I should be doing instead. I'm always on the hunt for shiny objects.
I'm juggling a full-time job, a house full of kids, and I can't just close the door for four hours a day.
I'm overwhelmed by work and yet somehow feel like I'm not living up to my full potential.
You may remember a time when there was no Google, Twitter, Facebook Instagram or iPhone. If you're one of our younger readers, you're probably thinking, "Damn, Srini is old." But let me tell you, it was a lot easier to manage your attention back then.
Today, each of us has more computing power in our pockets than Bill Clinton had when he was president.
But somehow we're less productive, more distracted, and can't seem to focus on anything for more than a few minutes.
No matter how many productivity apps we download, how much productivity porn we read, or life hacks we apply, we waste time watching cat videos on YouTube and diving down internet rabbit holes that make us experts on subjects like beekeeping and Qanon conspiracy theories.
If you feel like your brain is like a buzzing hive of bees in early spring, you feel a little on edge all the time because your to-do list is longer than your Costco receipt and you can't make much progress on, rest assured you're not alone.
In my 20s, my attention span was so short, I got terrible grades in college and took some of the best naps of my life during lectures. The slightest distraction threw me off. When I started working, it only got worse. I couldn't sit still in meetings, mindlessly surfed the internet, and got fired from every job I had.
After a wild night in Boston, I hopped in a cab to go to the airport. By the time I walked through the doors of Logan Airport and reached for my phone, the cab driver was long gone. I spouted a few four-letter expletives and boarded my flight. I'm sure Nokia made a lot of money off all the phones I lost and had to replace. They probably framed my photo and hung it on the "Customer of the Year" wall at their Finnish headquarters.
But I knew something had to change. Losing phones and jobs was just the tip of the iceberg.
If I didn't learn to control my attention, I wasn't going to have much of a future, whether I worked for myself or someone else. With a resume that resembled a rap sheet, I wasn't exactly the kind of employee a company would want to hire. If I didn't get my act together, I'd be living with my parents for the rest of my life.
To get a handle on my attention problems, I read hundreds of books on peak performance and productivity, and I interviewed attention management experts like Steven Kotler, Cal Newport and Adam Gazalalley. One of the books was "The Distracted Mind" by Adam Gazalley.
The most important lesson I learned from Adam's book is that there is a limit to our attention span. We can only pay attention to so many things without losing our minds (or our cell phones). Adam defines anything that has nothing to do with what we are working on as "goal-irrelevant information".
Simply put, you need to eliminate the competition for it if you want to increase your attention span.
By making a few simple changes, like scheduling time for my most important goals and setting up my workspace the night before, I went from being a person who lost six cell phones in a year to one finished a 45,000-word manuscript in six months. And I didn't have to join a monastery, become a monk, or move to an ashram in India. I just had to use a few of the right strategies.
A few months ago, we asked our readers about their biggest sources of distraction. A few common themes emerged.
Can you identify with the above statements? Do you catch yourself checking email or social media multiple times a day? Are you always busy but never get anything done? Do you find it difficult to focus on a task for more than a few minutes?
While it may seem like distraction and hustle are the hallmarks of being a person in 2021, it can be otherwise. And you don't have to struggle to create a new reality for yourself.
Unless Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter disappear tomorrow (which is unlikely), you'll need to learn how to be productive despite these distractions. You will learn how to create a digital environment that is free of distractions and optimized for you to get your most important work done.
With this simple technique, getting even complex projects done becomes much easier and less overwhelming. Small steps taken consistently add up quickly. By tracking our progress along the way (and celebrating each step!), we build momentum. Our students have used this method to launch podcasts, write books, and even find higher paying jobs.
Information overload can feel like a constant stressor in the modern world, but it doesn't have to be. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, you'll learn how to be more intentional about your media consumption habits. We'll teach you how to build an organized system for the content you consume so you don't waste time and energy browsing online and fishing for the information you need.
Flow is one of the most desirable states of mind, giving you peak productivity, creativity, and joy.
If you understand how it works and what the conditions are for flow, you can experience it every day. And when you get in the zone on command, the impossible becomes your new reality. Deep work will become a habit for you.
The Course for Knowledge Workers and Creatives who want to Eliminate Distractions, Focus on What Matters, and Thrive in the New Economy
Most time management problems are attention management problems. When you become aware of how you spend your time, you become better at managing both. With the right tools and systems, your inability to resist distractions will be a thing of the past. You'll learn how to set and achieve goals that make sense to YOU, identify your essential priorities, shorten your to-do list, and make measurable progress without overwhelming yourself.
Attention is the key to success in anything you do. Whether it's learning a new language, remembering important details, or succeeding at work, we simply can't do things well without giving our attention to them. You'll learn the science behind how your attention works and multiple proven techniques to increase it.
Flow is a mental state that occurs when you are "in the zone". Your entire focus is on the present moment, you feel energized, happy and creative, time passes without you noticing. Work becomes like a game and you do what you thought was impossible. In this module, you'll learn exactly how to get in the zone on command and develop a deep work habit so you can do your best work every day. We'll show you how to develop a daily workflow that will lead to an exponential increase in your productivity.
I am a working mom of a 2-year-old and five-year-old, so to say that I have very little time for creative pursuits is an understatement. That said, Srini has taught me how to make progress on my podcast, even with the tiny slices of time I have here and there because I now know exactly how and what to focus on. In a community with other members, I have both accountability and encouragement to keep going. It's because of the community that I was able to produce an entire season of a podcast while working and parenting in a pandemic. I highly recommend it.
What started as just simply me choosing to commit one hour a week to doing something that was purely for my creative self, turned into a lifestyle where my creative life is no longer separate from my life. The process really brought to my attention how distracted I had become from all the digital information in our lives. It made me question my relationship with all these digital elements and slowly refine such that I am utilizing technology for its benefits, and remove the distractions it brings with it. I have replaced social media with this community, which is really truly what social media ought to be. I have in this past year, developed a new relationship with digital technology
I know you've probably read a dozen sales pages for online courses like this. If you go through the course material, do the work, and don't see significant improvements in your ability to manage your time and attention, I will refund your money, no questions asked.
I developed this course based on years of research and dozens of interviews with experts in time management, attention, and productivity. I've applied all these concepts to self-publish a Wall-Street Journal Best-Seller, raise a round of funding, and complete several complex creative projects. This material has also helped many other people make dramatic progress on their projects, increase their income, and achieve results that seemed impossible before.
If you are having trouble managing your time and attention, you are probably wondering how you will find the time to complete the course. We have structured this course so that it will only take you about 15 minutes a week to go through each module and complete the assignments.
To ensure that you have the time to complete each module, the next module will be available one week after you complete the first. It's been our experience that people who can access all the modules of the course at once buy the course, but don't actually work through it. And we want you to complete the course.
Eliminating distractions is a means to an end. The goal of Distraction Mastery was to help our students find the time and space to focus.
Attention Mastery is about what you do with that time. All of the material in attention mastery is new. After teaching you how to set goals and manage your time, we show you how to focus your attention and make the progress that counts.
We'll show you how to do deep work, how to focus on what's needed, how to create processes and protocols to make the work easier, how to create the flow state and achieve remarkable results.
Unlike Distraction Mastery, which was hosted on Teachable, Distraction Mastery is hosted on Mighty Networks. So you won't just have access to the course, but also a community that will help you through your obstacles and challenges.
If you're looking for a silver bullet that leads to zen-like concentration the second you hit the buy button, this course is not for you. But if you go through the material and do the assignments, you will see results.
Our course participants have grown their businesses, started projects they've been putting off for years, and accomplished much more in much less time.
In Cal Newport's book, he says that there are two core abilities for thriving in the new economy
1. The ability to master hard things quickly
2. The ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of quality and speed
The key to both is attention management. When we cultivate our capacity for depth, we open up the gateway to a rich inner and outer life. We ignite pathways to our imagination and curiosity. Rather than traveling through the world around us at warp speed, we become more engaged with it, letting our conversations linger until we’re the only people left in a restaurant or it’s the last call at our favorite bar.
Increasing your attention span does more than just increase your productivity. It changes your life for the better and makes the impossible possible.
I was always losing cell phones and getting fired from jobs, but then something changed. After managing to not lose any more things or get kicked out of school for too many bad grades, I became a WSJ Best-Selling author, landed a six figure book deal with a publisher and raised a round of venture funding.
Learning how to manage my attention changed my life. And now I want to teach you how it can change yours because the world deserves to experience your gifts and so do you.