Exhaustion of Attention
What is Exhaustion of attention?
We often feel exhausted. Usually we think of this in physical terms- like needing to slow down and rest our bodies. However, our attention can also become exhausted. Our attention is a precious commodity, and when we are not using it wisely it can get scattered or disorganized. In this state of mind we may feel like we just can’t act deliberately, and our default patterns can surge and take us over. Harry Palmer says that we each have our own signs that our attention is getting exhausted. We may get irritable, confused, overwhelmed, make up excuses, get overwhelmed, or give up.
Organizing Your Attention
Getting organized in the physical universe really does help us feel better. There are many ways to do this, including making lists, delegating and clearing our spaces. One way to start to organize our attention is to step back for a moment and prioritize.
Harry Palmer says ”When a person’s attention is nearing exhaustion, an inventory should be taken: What’s really important here? What isn’t really important here?…An interesting process for clarifying issues is to ask someone what’s really important, and then help to focus even finer by asking what’s really important about that. This process will restore purpose to an organization and self-determinism to an individual.” (p64 ReSurfacing)
Sometimes we resist taking the time to stop and prioritize. But then we can end up feeling disjointed and frustrated and sacrificing the quality of our day. It is worth taking the time to regroup!
Benefits of Prioritizing
- We feel more energized, interested and motivated
- We are more committed and therefore more successful
- We feel in control of our lives
- We are much happier and more fulfilled
- We create alignment with our purpose instead of regret
One of the most helpful things we can do is to take the time to evaluate what is truly important to us. When we do this, we can align our attention and our actions with what really matters, and we experience much greater happiness and success.