Managing Your Attention Span

I have relatively short attention span. Let me explain myself… I love solving problems, in fact, I always say that I haven’t found a challenge that I couldn’t solve (and I mean daily challenges not age long mathematical problems). If I find a challenge I will focus on it like a mad man and learn about it, turn it apart and become an expert as quick as possible. I think there is a medical name for that, OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder… or something.

Why do I tell you this? For what I have been learning this past few months I think that I am not the only one with this problem. In fact I believe that it is a pretty common trait among “creative minds” (Sorry if that sounded corny. It was weird writing it and felt slightly pedantic as “creativity” and all derivatives seem to be so “cool” nowadays but I really believe that there are creative minds and managerial minds. Read Bo Peabody’s “Lucky or Smart?” for more info, it is easy to read and although I don’t agree with some big assumptions there are a couple of good tips to nimble on)

My excitement on new projects usually last for about 2-3 months, then I need new challenges in order to not get bored. But, the problem is that, when you start building your own business it has to be a constant challenge whether you like it or not. And it has to be that way for the next 4-5 years. So, how have I solved this?

One easy answer is that, actually, there are no lack of challenges upon building a new business. The key is whether you approach it in a mechanical way or a creative way. You can focus on getting it out of the way or stepping in, and really think about it thoroughly. In my humble opinion, and after reading its biography, that is how I think Steve Jobs solved it… he over-thought everything, always keeping up the challenge. You have to do the same. That is how I’m doing it.

Find out what are the challenges you have on top of your table and find the not so obvious solutions. As always… the easy approach would be to just take it out of the system as fast as possible, but as my father says, usually the easiest solution is not the right solution, or better put the hardest solution usually is the best solution.

The key is too correctly setup the challenges at hand, and most of the time one of those should be a time constrain. I say so because you can be tempted to delay decisions based on the over-thinking process but that is simply wrong. It should be “the bonus side quest” that you always look after. Specially because it is a very real constrain as it is part of your own behavior.

So that is my tip for today… learn to manage your attention span with creativity boosts. Convince yourself that it can really make a difference because it actually does. (Look at Apple’s design process) Don’t look at the competition, simply focus on nailing your problem-solving-solution at every client touch-point. Look constantly for challenges and don’t ever leave a problem with out a clever solution that you can feel proud of.


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