To create extraordinary lives, we must learn to “unplug” from the constant barrage of disruptions and “plug in” to the tools, strategies, and mindsets that allow us to harness our attention to reach our highest potential—and this book shows you how.
Attention Pays spotlights on the power of attention and absolute focus. Personally: WHO we pay attention to. Professionally: WHAT we pay attention to. And Globally: HOW we pay attention in the world—and to the world. In an on-demand, 24/7 society, where distractions cost millions of people productivity, profitability, relationships and peace, it's time to pay attention to what matters most.
• Includes powerful tips and tricks increase profitability
• Shows you how to achieve maximum accountability and results
• Provides strategies to help you productively manage daily tasks
• Offers guidance on improving your daily attention and focus
If you’re ready drive profitably, increase productivity and boost accountability, it’s time to tune out the noise, focus on what really matters and learn how Attention Pays.
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|Product dimensions:||5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Table of ContentsList of Illustrations xxi
A Love Note From Neen xxiii
About the Author xxvii
Does Your Attention Pay? xxix
The Costs of Inattention xxxi
Intention Is What Makes Attention Valuable xxxii
An Attention Revolution xxxiv
Attention Pays xxxv
Attention Is Yoga for Your Mind xxxvii
PART ONE DOES YOUR ATTENTION PAY? 1
Chapter 1 Our Attention-Deficit Society 3
Internal Factors 5
The Great Multitasking Myth 5
The “Over Trilogy” — Overwhelmed, Overstressed, and Overtired 6
Generational Differences 9
External Factors 11
Physical Environment 11
How the Media and Information Overload Changed Our Attention 12
Our Technology Addiction 14
Our Addiction to Social Media and Apps 18
Destruction of the Work-Life Boundary 21
The Costs of the Attention-Deficit Society 24
Chapter 2 Listen with Your Eyes: The Power of Intentional Attention 29
Intentional Attention 31
Conscious Versus Unconscious 31
Deliberate Versus Distracted 32
Transformational Versus Transactional 33
The Intentional Attention Model 35
Change Is Hard — But Oh So Worth It! 38
Change Your Brain 39
Change Your Focus 41
Change Your Habits 43
How to Make Your Attention Pay 47
PART TWO PERSONALLY — BE THOUGHTFUL 51
Chapter 3 Personalize Performance: Brand Building, Nido Qubein Style 53
Practice Self-Care 55
Establish a Morning Routine 56
Establish a Night Routine 57
Schedule Recovery Time 59
Set Boundaries with Your Devices and Social Media 60
Manage Your Personal Brand 62
What Does Your Personal Brand Say About You? 62
Become Your Own Publicist 65
Always Plan for the Next Opportunity 65
Find and Connect with Advocates 67
Be the Duck 68
Seek Feedback 68
Manage Your Communications 69
Grow Your Confidence 69
Be Conscious of Your Language 70
Chapter 4 Focus on VIPs: Systemize Thoughtfulness 73
Focus on Your VIPs 74
Who Needs Your Attention in Your Personal Life? 74
Who Needs Your Attention at Work? 77
The Other Kind of VIPs 79
Manage Your Communications with Others 80
Use People’s Names 80
Be a Fascinated Listener 80
Know Their Preferred Communication Style and Mode 82 Manage Your Relationships with Others 83
Step Away from the Device! 83
Create Significant Moments 84
Rev Your RAZ for Recognition 87
Implement Systemized Thoughtfulness 88
PART THREE PROFESSIONALLY — BE PRODUCTIVE 93
Chapter 5 Prioritize Your Priorities: Create Significant Moments 95
Pack Your Highest Priorities 97
Protect Your Time 99
Systemize Your Calendar 100
Defend Against Your Biggest Distraction 103
Outsource Your Life 106
Guard Your Focus 107
“No” Is a Complete Sentence 108
Bring Back the Gatekeeper 110
Fight Decision Fatigue 111
Discipline Your Use of Devices and Social Media 112
Chapter 6 Create a Culture of Attention: Stop the Madness 117
Show Them the Path and then Empower Them to Take It 118
Cultivate an Environment Where Productivity Thrives 121
Create an Agile Work Culture 121
Reduce Stress and Promote Healthy Choices 125
Stop the Meeting Madness 129
Communicate Clearly with Contextual Models 132
PART FOUR GLOBALLY — BE RESPONSIBLE 137
Chapter 7 Make an Impact: The Great (Disappearing) Barrier Reef 139
You Can Make an Impact 141
Leverage Your Leadership 143
Organizational Stewardship 144
Create a Connection 144
Being Responsible Can also Be Profitable 145
The Power of Employee Service Days 146
Chapter 8 Join the Attention Revolution 149
Bonus Chapter: Build an Organization That Pays Attention 154
Empower Your Team to Give Intentional Attention 156
Leverage Social Media to Surprise and Delight Customers 160
Systemize Thoughtfulness — The Mendlowski Method 162 Ensure Customers Get a Consistent Experience 163
Give Attention to Get Attention 164
Peloton: The Poster Child for Intentional Attention 166
What People are Saying About This
"The difference between success and failure is often the same as the difference between happiness and frustration: deciding to use intention. Neen makes it clear that our attention is too important to be frittered away merely because someone (or something) decided to grab it."
Seth Godin - Author - Linchpin
In a world that continues to demand more, Neen’s honest insights, powerful research and bubbly humor drives home the importance of managing internal and external factors to reclaim our time and attention. I recommend this book to everyone, at every level, looking for winning attention strategies to lead a more fulfilled, productive and intentional life.
Mary Rooney - Vice President - Strategic Planning and Communications - Comcast Spotlight
Finally! In an overwhelming world that pulls us in every direction, a book that lays out the where, how and why about where we should focus. The best part is that Attention Pays, pays you back as you read it. Of the thousands of books that come out this year, this is the one to pay attention to.
Scott Stratten - 5X Best-Selling Author - UnMarketing Inc.
Attention Pays is a masterclass in how to influence others, win business and lead teams. In a world where everybody is crazy busy, this book gives you the tools to cut through the clutter so you're seen, heard, and understood. I've made it required reading for my staff and clients.
Michael Port - NY Times, WSJ Bestselling author of Steal the Show
In the business world where leaders are often distracted and overwhelmed, this book provides solutions every person can implement in their personal and professional life.
Leading a life of significance requires you to pay attention to who, and what really matters. Neen's attention frameworks and strategies make this a must-read for anyone wanting to be a more current, relevant and influential leader.
I am recommending the staff and students at High Point University follow Ms. James advice to be more thoughtful each day, more productive each week, and more responsible each year."
Dr. Nido R. Qubein - President- High Point University
There are teachers and gurus, innovators and thought leaders. And then there is Neen James. Years ago when we met, I was immediately struck by her power to ignite a room, to change how people think about themselves, and to demonstrate what is possible if we pay attention and create a life of intention. Neen’s power is in her authenticity. She absolutely talks the talk (like no other), but Neen truly walks the walk – and, in those signature pink heels, no less.
Neen values relationship and service to others above all else. She is a passionate connector of people, and one of the most generous professionals I’ve ever met. Neen changed my life for the better, and when you immerse yourself in Attention Pays, she will no doubt change yours.
Elizabeth Lucas-Averett (Ella) - Host of On Air with Ella
After an extremely successful and provocative read with Folding Time, Neen James hits another home run with Attention Pays. There were so many powerful messages around being highly productive, but through an ever changing personal and professional landscape – we have lost the ability to give our undivided attention. This consistently happens in the workplace and unfortunately, outside of the workplace as well. We have to be intentionally investing all the time, there’s no other choice. The rewards are immeasurable.”
Bob O’Brien - Vice President - Southwest Region - Comcast Spotlight
What I appreciate so much about Neen’s very attentive (to the reader!) book is this: being attentive isn’t just a binary goal (e.g., you are either paying attention or you aren’t). It’s a practice. Focusing on Intentional Attention lets us forgive ourselves for those lapses we all have—but gives us a tool box to put successful attention “in our way"which in turn puts success in our way. Turn off your phone, and read this book.
Tom Webster - Vice President - Strategy - Edison Research
Attention Pays reads like a business book for the inefficient and exhausted. But it's actually a field guide to living your life with more balance, intention, focus, joy. Sneaky move, Neen.Ann Handley, WSJ best-selling author of Everybody Writes & Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfsI have no doubt that we create in our lives the things we pay attention to, good and bad.
Managing time is good, managing energy is smart but paying attention is where the real growth lay. In a world of constant distraction, paying attention is our competitive advantage.
Matt Church - Founder of Thought Leaders Global
Insightful and thought-provoking look at the impact of technology (especially smart phones!) and our ability to remain in tune with ourselves, our day to day, and our overall environment. “Attention Pays” crystallizes social media’s influence on human interaction and the results thereof; which tend to be the inverse of common beliefs.
Phil LaLonde - SVP Ad Sales Commercial Operations - Viacom Media Networks
Neen James has written a brilliant book that demands us all to sit up and pay attention. From the insightful research on the costs of inattention to the practical tips and strategies that allow us to harness the power of intentional attention in all walks of our lives, this book is a must read for anyone who wants to be more focused, more productive and have more impact on the world.
Toni Newman - Founder of The Innovation Advantage - Professional Catalyst
Stop everything you are doing and join the Attention Revolution, led by the inimitable Neen James. In this chaotic and cacophonic world, Neen teaches you to control what demands your attention, and to prioritize what really matters, with equal parts love, humor, and brilliance. This book is essential reading for every leader who cares about their relationships at home, at work, and in their community.
Laura Gassner Otting - Chief Confidence Catalyst
The basis of any relationship is care. With her new book “Attention Pays,” Neen James brings the business world closer to building real relationships. We are all in a time-stressed world. I am constantly responding to the demands of my members, the public, and fellow staff. Like many people, I jump at my phone’s every ding, ping and notification, taking me away from the people right in front of me. This has had a negative impact on my relationships and my success. In this frenzied environment, I have missed chances to connect and cost myself uncountable returns.
Neen’s ideas on attention have helped me to focus on the important interactions I have every day. As I control distractions, I am seeing improved connections and live in the precious moments of someone’s time. This focus is helping me to be a better employee, father, and husband. The ideas in this book can help you and your organization analyze the factors diminishing your attention and put the care back in your relationships with customers, clients, and employees. You will find that attention pays.
Scott D. Ferrin – Field Director – Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
From the moment Neen shared this idea with me, I knew she had a winner. Her unique perspective on this important topic is critical for all leaders today. Attention Pays will help businesses stay relevant, leaders improve morale, and individuals grow business relationships or the bottom line.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to differentiate themselves… from leaders who want to stand out, to parents who want to create more significant memories with their kids, the message is clear: Attention Pays.
Clint Greenleaf - CEO - HomePlate Peanut Butter
The “Over Trilogy” cycle of Overwhelmed, Overstressed and Overtired Neen shares in this book is impacting more than our decision-making ability and our productivity; it’s impacting our wellness and happiness! Neen James’ book, Attention Pays, offers profound insight and action-orientation that will positively change the trajectory of our businesses, our communities and our lives. As we pay genuine attention to the people and world around us, we reap vast rewards.
Barbara Cowan - Vice President Talent and Inclusion - Comcast Spotlight
Do yourself a big life-changing favor and take the wise lessons of Attention Pays to heart and you will morph in really important ways. Neen James helps you tame the “squirrels” of the un-focused brain to lead you to a personal and professional life of effectiveness, well-being and enormous impact.
Scott Halford - Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of Activate Your Brain - Member National Speakers Hall of Fame
A devastating indictment of flawed time management and bogus multitasking, Attention Pays will rewire how you do EVERYTHING. Your to-do list should have exactly one item: buy this book.
Jay Baer - Founder of Convince & Convert and author of Hug Your Haters
If you wish you could focus on what matters, stop doing things that rob you of profit and success, and improve interaction with business colleagues, clients and loved ones, then slap your distracted self and pick up Attention Pays by Neen James. It'll change your life.
Ian Altman - Bestselling co-author of Same Side Selling