We often accuse time of being the culprit for stealing life’s precious experiences, but it is the absence of attention that degrades relationships and robs life of meaning. Time is an empty vessel without attention at the helm.
Parents under pressure are convinced that what they are withholding from their kids is time. Whether you’re a mother holding down a busy job or a separated dad who only gets 2 days each fortnight, it’s easy to make this mistake. And it’s an incredibly disempowering one. When your best efforts to find more time prove futile, the next step is to start compensating with the things you are able to provide: toys, games, clothes...
Leaders attempt to improve staff satisfaction by being around more, but their physical presence alone falls short. Social events, reward schemes and motivational speakers won’t compensate for a distracted and inattentive boss. You can’t delegate attention and you can’t buy it in.
What if you’ve been getting it wrong? What if the very thing your staff or loved ones most need and want, is not the one thing that is out of your reach, but the thing that is right at your fingertips? What if you are looking in all the wrong places, and overlooking the only thing that really matters. What if time doesn’t matter, but attention really, really does?
Think they’re the same thing? You couldn’t be more wrong. A day spent together but disconnected is empty, even harmful. What lesson do people learn when their efforts are overlooked and their ideas are ignored?
Attention is not measured by seconds, minutes, hours or days, it is measured by fullness. A moment of clear full attention given generously without condition, will connect, nourish and transform. But as long as you hold on to time as your measure, these moments of full attention are delayed until “the time is right”. You don’t need to wait until the weekend, an annual conference, a birthday, or other special event to give this most precious and life-changing gift.
Forget time management - let's start focusing on our attention management!