ISBN-10:
1788601440
ISBN-13:
9781788601443
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Attention!: The power of simple decisions in a distracted world

Attention!: The power of simple decisions in a distracted world

by Rob Hatch

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Overview

***BUSINESS BOOK AWARDS 2021 SHORTLISTED TITLE***

Attention!
is a practical guide for reclaiming the power of our time and attention.
In a world of endless distraction, we have given away two of our most valuable assets: time and attention.
Technology has given us the incredible gift of access to an ever-increasing amount of information and has opened the door to a vast array of choices and opportunities.
However, having more options doesn’t correlate to an increase in our success. Research shows that having more to choose from causes anxiety and decreases our likelihood of taking action. We have become paralyzed and polarized, reacting instead of acting and ceding control of our decisions to a continuous onslaught of information, marketing, and interruption.
We live in an age where we struggle to decide which information is real or fake. We find it challenging to make even the most straightforward decisions for our happiness and success in our lives and business.
This book will help you reframe your relationship with the demands on your time, overcome decision fatigue, and understand the value of creating space.
Rob Hatch sets out a powerful framework and flexible approach that gives you the space to focus your attention on what is important, the power to make decisions aligned with your goals, and the ability to take action with confidence.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781788601443
Publisher: Practical Inspiration Publishing
Publication date: 10/06/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 919,669
File size: 983 KB

About the Author

Rob Hatch brings a unique blend of knowledge and background in the field of Human Development with his experience as a successful business leader and executive coach. His weekly newsletter is read by tens of thousands of individuals all over the world. His personal style and ability to incorporate the latest research, as well as stories and lessons from his daily life and others, serve as a dose of weekly wisdom and inspiration. As a speaker, trainer, and coach, Rob works primarily with business leaders and teams, guiding them through critical transitions in their organization. An experienced leader, from his foundational experience supporting Early Childhood professionals to his executive experience in organizations large and small, Rob also served as the executive director of a successful non-profit organization and was nominated to chair a critical legislative sub-committee, crafting legislation for children with Special Needs. Rob lives in Maine with his award-winning photographer wife, Megin. They have four children and spend most of their time encouraging and supporting them as they pursue their passions.

Table of Contents

About the author ....................................................................... ixForeword by Robert Brooks, PhD ............................................. xiIntroduction ............................................................................ xviiPart one: The state of things ................................................1Chapter 1: The problem: our distracted world .........................3Chapter 2: This isn’t working: we weren’t prepared for this ...... 23Part two: The power of simple decisions ...........................45Chapter 3: Put success in your way ......................................... 47Chapter 4: You are the architect of your system .................... 79Part three: Systems that serve .........................................125Chapter 5: Small – Big – Small .............................................. 127Chapter 6: The value of emotional decisions ....................... 175Chapter 7: Decide before you have to ................................... 201Chapter 8: One number .......................................................... 229Conclusion: what does that look like? .................................... 237What’s next?............................................................................ 257

Preface

Foreword by Robert Brooks

I was trained as a clinical psychologist more than 40 years ago and during my career I have witnessed several major changes of focus in my profession. One of the most dramatic has been a shift from a so-called ‘medical model’ with its emphasis on ‘fixing deficits’ in people to a strength-based perspective that places the spotlight on identifying and utilizing each person’s strengths or what I have referred to as their ‘islands of competence.’

This shift is associated with the emergence of the field of ‘positive psychology’ and an increased interest in a concept that has been a major focus of my work, namely, resilience. Studies of resilience in both children and adults have attempted to identify individual factors as well as environmental forces that contribute to our ability to deal more effectively with stress and to thrive in the face of adversity.

In my roles as a clinician, consultant, and parent, I have often considered the question, ‘How do resilient children or adults see the world and themselves differently from those who are not resilient?’ This represented more than an academic question for me. I assumed that the more precisely we could identify those characteristics that defined the mindset and behaviors of resilient individuals, the more we could develop strategies to nurture resilience in both our children and ourselves.

 I discovered that one key attribute of resilient individuals was their adherence to a lifestyle rooted in what I have labeled ‘personal control.’ Resilient people demonstrated an impressive capacity to focus their time and energy on situations over which they had some control or influence rather than on situations in which they had little, if any, impact.

Personal control represents a very significant quality in determining our emotional and physical well-being. While conducting therapy I constantly witnessed the negative outcomes associated with the absence of a sense of personal control. I heard accounts of people who based their happiness on others changing first (e.g., ‘I would be happy if only my wife treated me better’), or who continued to cast blame on a particular situation for the misery they experienced in their lives (e.g., ‘Why did I have to be born with a learning disability? It’s not fair!’), or who felt so pessimistic that they could not even consider steps they might initiate to improve their lives. Often a ‘victim’ mentality dominated their existence.

 In contrast, through interviews and correspondence, I heard from individuals who when unhappy would examine what they could do differently to improve the situation, of children or adults with learning problems who moved away from a position of asking ‘why me?’ to adopting the attitude, ‘I had no control over having learning problems; what I do have control over is finding the best ways to learn, and the best people who can help me.’

 Given these first-hand accounts I gathered from resilient people, I voiced the opinion that ‘we are the authors of our own lives, that while events occur beyond our control, what we have more control over than we may realize is our attitude and response to these events.’

 Yet, even while subscribing to this viewpoint, I am fully aware that we live in a world in which an increasing number of people feel overwhelmed on a daily basis. They believe they have little, if any, control over what transpires in their lives and that the time needed to meet all of their responsibilities is in short supply. Distractions are everywhere – just observe the number of children and adults who throughout the day are unable to free themselves from their mobile devices or computers.

Live conversations have taken a backseat to brief texts and constant texting often shifts our focus from the important task at hand. Hours are lost rather than gained in our attempt to multi-task. In the middle of completing a project, we are drawn to check and answer our texts and emails, or even begin a new project before the current one is completed.

 Eventually most of us realize that our time and energy are being squandered and any sense of personal control is lost. As one of my patients lamented, ‘I’m spending more and more hours accomplishing less and less. I seem to be spending less time with my family and I’m less productive in my work.’

He added, ‘I just don’t know where to begin to change things. I try to cut back on some things, but then I just add more hours doing other things that are also not productive.’

Early in my career I was taught that if individuals knew they had to make changes to improve their lives but failed to do so, they were being ‘resistant’ to implementing new behaviors, that deeply rooted, unconscious forces were working against them confronting their problems. In some instances, this might certainly be the case. However, what I was to learn that seems so apparent now, was that more often than not the main obstacle to taking control of one’s life was that people lacked a plan, a system, or well-thought out strategies to move forward. They felt trapped with no compass to guide them.

In the absence of a clear blueprint for action, attempts to improve one’s life are likely to eventuate in unsuccessful outcomes. Such circumstances may invite a vicious cycle. Negative outcomes intensify feelings of pessimism, which result in people giving up after just a brief time, convinced that they cannot make changes in their lifestyle. Sadly, they resort to the same counterproductive script they have followed for years – as unsatisfactory as this script has been, it is the only one they know.

It is important to note that roadmaps do exist that can guide us to realize greater personal control, flexible structure, and happiness in all arenas of our lives. One is Rob Hatch’s very impressive book Attention!. Rob has done a masterful job of not only detailing the problems we face living in a world full of distractions – distractions that drain our time, attention, and energy from greater satisfaction and achievement – but, very importantly, he provides very specific, practical, realistic techniques for bringing order, purpose, and success to our lives.

Rob has a wonderful ability to introduce us to concepts that are understandable and can be translated into action. The material is further enriched by the many personal experiences Rob shares and his accounts of what he learned from both the positive and negative events in his life.

This personal quality has contributed to the creation of a very reader-friendly, informative book that on each page conveys a sense of empathy and a recognition that we have all struggled with obstacles in our lives and that there are strategies we can use to confront the challenges we face.

 An example of one principle that Rob proposes is Put Success in Your Way. In explaining this principle, Rob identifies three core elements, that I am certain will prompt much self-reflection. They include:

1.    Willpower is a limited resource.

2.    Decisions are distractions.

3.    Habits are a powerful force to which we are biologically prone.

The clarity with which Rob elaborates on these three elements and his recommended realistic strategies to Put Success in Your Way will be welcomed by all readers. They are seemingly simple ideas, which if followed can result in significant lifelong positive changes.

 Earlier I highlighted a key conviction that guides not only my professional activities but also the actions I assume in my personal life: ‘We are the authors of our own lives.’ Thus, I was delighted to read another of Rob’s principles that resonates with being authors of our own lives, namely, ‘You are the architect of your own system.’

In discussing the word ‘architect’ Rob emphasizes that ‘we are in charge of building the experience we want.’ Via the words ‘of your system’ Rob encourages us to examine the current system we use, what parts of that system require modification, and what steps we can take to make these modifications.

The message housed in all of Rob’s principles and strategies is that we are capable of discovering ways to remove counterproductive scripts that burden our lives. Rob recognizes that re-writing certain scripts may, at times, be experienced as a formidable task and that initial efforts may not prove effective. However, his recommendations for learning from both our successes and setbacks can provide the confidence and direction we require to lead a life of our choosing, one in which we feel empowered, and one in which we truly believe that we are leading a life in concert with our values.

 I am certain that Rob’s book will become an invaluable resource to be read and re-read as we search for a more purposeful, meaningful life.

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