We never seem to have enough time to get everything done, how do we fit more into the day, stop fighting fires and be more productive and effective?

With all the changes facing business owners today… We all have same amount of time; is it how we use it or is it more about how we use our attention?

I recently caught up with Komal Thakkar to help me understand this concept of time and how we still try to cram as much into our day as possible. Komal is the MD of Productivity First and a Certified Getting Things Done (GTD) coach. Productivity First is an International Partner of the David Allen Company in Australia, Certified and Authorised to teach the Getting Things Done (GTD) Methodology.

Komal shared with me that the issue is not so much about time but attention. What I don’t have — and what I can’t squeeze in — is more attention. Attention is a far more limited resource than time. Our attention is a currency that is not an unlimited resource and it needs to be preserved.

Komal said that we are suffering from an attention redundancy and this is why we are feeling overwhelmed. If you think about the changes we have faced in the last 6 months, we are constantly trying to make sense and understand what we need to do to change and adapt. This constant switching in our brains causes attention exhaustion. She says we need to learn to re-calibrate our attention in times of change to be able to beat this overwhelm.

Just like the open tabs on your internet browser, every time you add to your to-do list you open new tabs that drain your attention. All those open loops of undone actions add a load to our mind and build to the stress of “I don’t have enough time to… “.As David Allen – author of “Getting Things Done” says “Your mind is for having ideas not holding onto them”.

What if we learnt to time “flow” as opposed to time “manage” and had a system close the open loops?

In our latest podcast – “On Track”, my co founder, Amanda Cole and I discuss this concept of productivity and time. Amanda is reading “Getting Things Done” and she now believes that “There is an old way of thinking about productivity…we’ve all heard about the urgent vs important matrix. We have all these random lists and tools that are now both analog and digital and we are trying to switch between the two which is causing an attention deficit”. GTD gives us a system that works for all our projects and actions and helps put our attention on running the business rather than our tasks and inbox’s running us.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and want to learn more about how to take a control of your attention join Komal and our other panel guest Zoe Sparks on the Small Business Forum: 2 October from 12 – 1.30pm.

If you can’t make the forum you can always catch up on what was discussed later on our podcast “On Track”.

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