Time Management? Not Any More

“Knowledge is power,” Francis Bacon said. So did Hobbes. (Not Calvin’s friend, the other one. Thomas.)  I’m not sure it is anymore. Knowledge is easily available–we can now check up on facts much faster than in the days we had to go to the library and look up a book or article. Of course, we also have to spend some time sifting through drek to find the knowledge. But still, it’s easy to access knowledge.

What is important, however, is attention span. That is in danger of disappearing.

The star-eating chicken  Ink on paper. © Quinn McDonald

The star-eating chicken Ink on paper. © Quinn McDonald

Attention span is power.

Which jumps me to time management. It’s not time we need to manage, it our attention. Choosing what needs attention, how much attention, listening to what needs to be done, paying close attention on completing  the steps needed to complete the task–that’s attention management. It’s easier to start six things, jump from one task to another, add household tasks while we are doing office chores, avoiding creative work because we pretend the laundry needs our time–time management vanishes when we begin to practice attention management.

Attention management allows you to separate “urgent” from “important.” Both need attention, but mot of the time, we suppress “important” for “urgent” because “urgent” has our reputation on the line, and “important” isn’t “urgent” yet.

Yep, I’m pretty sure that attention management is a skill that can solve problems and help us get work done. And allow for play. Which is the whole point.

–Quinn McDonald believes that play is real work.